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Science 302 (5642): 81-84

Copyright © 2003 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Loss of an MDR Transporter in Compact Stalks of Maize br2 and Sorghum dw3 Mutants

Dilbag S. Multani,1 Steven P. Briggs,2 Mark A. Chamberlin,1 Joshua J. Blakeslee,3 Angus S. Murphy,3 Gurmukh S. Johal4*

Abstract: Agriculturally advantageous reduction in plant height is usually achieved by blocking the action or production of gibberellins. Here, we describe a different dwarfing mechanism found in maize brachytic2 (br2) mutants characterized by compact lower stalk internodes. The height reduction in these plants results from the loss of a P-glycoprotein that modulates polar auxin transport in the maize stalk. The sorghum ortholog of br2 is dwarf3 (dw3), an unstable mutant of long-standing commercial interest and concern. A direct duplication within the dw3 gene is responsible for its mutant nature and also for its instability, because it facilitates unequal crossing-over at the locus.

1 Pioneer Hi-Bred International, 7250 Northwest 62nd Avenue, Johnston, IA 50131, USA.
2 Diversa Corporation, 4955 Directors Place, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.
3 Department of Horticulture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
4 Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: gjohal{at}

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