HOTHEAD (gene)

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HOTHEAD is a gene in Arabidopsis thaliana that encodes an flavin adenine dinucleotide-containing oxidoreductase. It is involved in the creation of the carpel during the formation of flowers, through the fusion of epidermal cells.[1] In 2005 mutant plants lacking HOTHEAD were proposed to be able to "remember" the sequences of genes that were present in their ancestors, through some kind of non-Mendelian mechanism of inheritance.[2] Later research showed that this strange phenotype was due to the plants having a pronounced bias towards outcrossing, rather than the usual behavior of Arabidopsis, which is to self-fertilise.[3][4]


  1. ^ Krolikowski KA, Victor JL, Wagler TN, Lolle SJ, Pruitt RE (August 2003). "Isolation and characterization of the Arabidopsis organ fusion gene HOTHEAD". Plant J. 35 (4): 501–11. doi:10.1046/j.1365-313x.2003.01824.x. PMID 12904212. 
  2. ^ Lolle SJ, Victor JL, Young JM, Pruitt RE (March 2005). "Genome-wide non-mendelian inheritance of extra-genomic information in Arabidopsis". Nature 434 (7032): 505–9. doi:10.1038/nature03380. PMID 15785770. 
  3. ^ Peng P, Chan SW, Shah GA, Jacobsen SE (September 2006). "Plant genetics: increased outcrossing in hothead mutants". Nature 443 (7110): E8; discussion E8–9. doi:10.1038/nature05251. PMID 17006468. 
  4. ^ Mercier R, Jolivet S, Vignard J, et al. (December 2008). "Outcrossing as an explanation of the apparent unconventional genetic behavior of Arabidopsis thaliana hth mutants". Genetics 180 (4): 2295–7. doi:10.1534/genetics.108.095208. PMC 2600959. PMID 18845842.