The formation of axillary meristems in leaf axils is a prerequisite for the development of lateral shoots, which largely contribute to plant architecture. Several transcription factor-encoding genes, including CUC3, RAX, LAS, LOF1, and ROX, have been cloned by screening for axillary meristem mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana. These genes will facilitate our understanding of the mechanisms underlying axillary meristem development.
The DNA-binding one zinc finger (Dof) family is a classic plant-specific zinc-finger transcription factor family, which is involved in many important processes, including seed maturation and germination, plant growth and development, and light responses. Investigation of the Medicago truncatula genome revealed 42 putative Dof genes, each of which holds one Dof domain. These genes were classified into four groups based on phylogenetic analysis, which are similar to the groups reported for Arabidopsis and rice.