Simon T. Malcomber

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Inflorescence branching is a major yield trait in crop plants controlled by the developmental fate of axillary shoot meristems. Variations in branching patterns lead to diversity in flower-bearing architectures (inflorescences) and affect crop yield by influencing seed number or harvesting ability. Several growth regulators such as auxins, cytokinins and(More)
Primaclade is a web-based application that accepts a multiple species nucleotide alignment file as input and identifies a set of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers that will bind across the alignment. Primaclade iteratively runs the Primer3 application for each alignment sequence and collates the results. Primaclade creates an HTML results page that(More)
SEPALLATA (SEP) genes form an integral part of models that outline the molecular basis of floral organ determination and are hypothesized to act as co-factors with ABCD floral homeotic genes in specifying different floral whorls. The four SEP genes in Arabidopsis function redundantly, but the extent to which SEP genes in other flowering plants function(More)
SEPALLATA (SEP) genes exhibit distinct patterns of expression and function in the grass species rice (Oryza sativa) and maize (Zea mays), suggesting that the role of the genes has changed during the evolution of the family. Here, we examine expression of the SEP-like gene LEAFY HULL STERILE1 (LHS1) in phylogenetically disparate grasses, reconstruct the(More)
Organogenesis in plants is controlled by meristems. Axillary meristems, which give rise to branches and flowers, play a critical role in plant architecture and reproduction. Maize (Zea mays) and rice (Oryza sativa) have additional types of axillary meristems in the inflorescence compared to Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and thus provide an excellent(More)
Auxin plays a fundamental role in organogenesis in plants. Multiple pathways for auxin biosynthesis have been proposed, but none of the predicted pathways are completely understood. Here, we report the positional cloning and characterization of the vanishing tassel2 (vt2) gene of maize (Zea mays). Phylogenetic analyses indicate that vt2 is a co-ortholog of(More)
The role of polyploidy, particularly allopolyploidy, in plant diversification is a subject of debate. Whole-genome duplications precede the origins of many major clades (e.g., angiosperms, Brassicaceae, Poaceae), suggesting that polyploidy drives diversification. However, theoretical arguments and empirical studies suggest that polyploid lineages may(More)
Phylogenetic relationships among 28 of the 68 species of the paleotropical genus Gaertnera (Rubiaceae) and two related genera were inferred from nucleotide sequence variation in four nuclear DNA (nDNA) markers: the internal transcribed spacers of nuclear rDNA (ITS), the large and small copies of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PepC-large and PepC-small),(More)
The plant growth hormone auxin plays a critical role in the initiation of lateral organs and meristems. Here, we identify and characterize a mutant, sparse inflorescence1 (spi1), which has defects in the initiation of axillary meristems and lateral organs during vegetative and inflorescence development in maize. Positional cloning shows that spi1 encodes a(More)
The diversity of plant architectural form is largely determined by the extent and duration of axillary meristem (AM) derived lateral growth. The orthologous basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins maize BARREN STALK1 (BA1) and rice LAX PANICLE1 (LAX1) are essential for the formation of AMs during vegetative development and all lateral structures during(More)