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LEAFY (abbreviated LFY) is a plant gene that causes groups of undifferentiated cells called meristems to develop into flowers instead of leaves with associated shoots.[1]

LEAFY is involved in floral meristem identity.

LEAFY encodes a plant-specific transcription factor, is found in all land plants and in charophytes[2] and one of its exons have been used extensively in phylogenetic work on spermatophytes.[3] When the gene is overexpressed, the plant is less sensitive to environmental signals and flowers earlier.[4]

The LEAFY protein has two conserved domains: the DNA binding domain, a Helix-Turn-Helix motif buried inside a unique 7-helix fold[5] and a Sterile Alpha Motif.[6] It binds DNA as a dimer and its binding site has been identified both in vivo and in vitro.[7][8]


  1. ^ Weigel D, Alvarez J, Smyth DR, Yanofsky MF, Meyerowitz EM (1992). "LEAFY controls floral meristem identity in Arabidopsis". Cell. 69 (5): 843–859. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(92)90295-N. PMID 1350515. 
  2. ^ Sayou, Camille; Monniaux, Marie; Nanao, Max H.; Moyroud, Edwige; Brockington, Samuel F.; Thévenon, Emmanuel; Chahtane, Hicham; Warthmann, Norman; Melkonian, Michael (2014-02-07). "A promiscuous intermediate underlies the evolution of LEAFY DNA binding specificity". Science. 343 (6171): 645–648. doi:10.1126/science.1248229. ISSN 1095-9203. PMID 24436181. 
  3. ^ Peter M. Hollingsworth; Richard M. Bateman; R. J. Gornall (1999). Molecular Systematics and Plant Evolution. CRC Press. p. 242. ISBN 0-7484-0908-4. 
  4. ^ Weigel D, Nilsson O (1995). "A developmental switch sufficient for flower initiation in diverse plants". Nature. 377 (6549): 495–500. doi:10.1038/377495a0. PMID 7566146. 
  5. ^ Hamès, Cécile; Ptchelkine, Denis; Grimm, Clemens; Thevenon, Emmanuel; Moyroud, Edwige; Gérard, Francine; Martiel, Jean-Louis; Benlloch, Reyes; Parcy, François (2008-10-08). "Structural basis for LEAFY floral switch function and similarity with helix-turn-helix proteins". The EMBO journal. 27 (19): 2628–2637. doi:10.1038/emboj.2008.184. ISSN 1460-2075. PMC 2567413Freely accessible. PMID 18784751. 
  6. ^ Sayou, Camille; Nanao, Max H.; Jamin, Marc; Posé, David; Thévenon, Emmanuel; Grégoire, Laura; Tichtinsky, Gabrielle; Denay, Grégoire; Ott, Felix (2016-04-21). "A SAM oligomerization domain shapes the genomic binding landscape of the LEAFY transcription factor". Nature Communications. 7: 11222. doi:10.1038/ncomms11222. ISSN 2041-1723. PMC 4844672Freely accessible. PMID 27097556. 
  7. ^ Moyroud, Edwige; Minguet, Eugenio Gómez; Ott, Felix; Yant, Levi; Posé, David; Monniaux, Marie; Blanchet, Sandrine; Bastien, Olivier; Thévenon, Emmanuel (2011-04-01). "Prediction of regulatory interactions from genome sequences using a biophysical model for the Arabidopsis LEAFY transcription factor". The Plant Cell. 23 (4): 1293–1306. doi:10.1105/tpc.111.083329. ISSN 1532-298X. PMC 3101549Freely accessible. PMID 21515819. 
  8. ^ Winter, Cara M.; Austin, Ryan S.; Blanvillain-Baufumé, Servane; Reback, Maxwell A.; Monniaux, Marie; Wu, Miin-Feng; Sang, Yi; Yamaguchi, Ayako; Yamaguchi, Nobutoshi (2011-04-19). "LEAFY target genes reveal floral regulatory logic, cis motifs, and a link to biotic stimulus response". Developmental Cell. 20 (4): 430–443. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2011.03.019. ISSN 1878-1551. PMID 21497757.