The TCP family of transcription factors is plant-specific. The members of this family are characterized by the presence of the TCP domain which is responsible for DNA recognition and are distributed in two classes, I and II, which are supposed to act antagonistically. The main biological role attributed to the TCP proteins is the shift from cell division to cell expansion/differentiation. In A. thaliana, 24 members of the TCP family were identified. There are evidences that they are at least partially redundant. TCP20 is a class I gene which product acts combined with TCP8 and TCP9 in controlling the cell cycle and plant growth. The phenotype due to superexpression or supression of TCP20 is described in detail only for vegetative tissues. Leaves of the tcp20 mutants show reduction of cell numbers and increase in cell size. The reproductive phenotype of tcp20 mutants are only mentioned in the literature and those are without the description of the gene expression patterns that could relate to the mentioned phenotypes. Thus the present project aims the determination of the expression patterns of TCP20 through RT-PCR and to characterize the spatial expression patterns of this gene via in situ hybridization during A. thaliana reproductive development. Also, using scanning electron microscopy techniques, we aim the characterization of the reproductive development phenotypes of tcp20 and the double mutants tcp20/tcp9, tcp20/tcp8 and tcp8/tcp9.
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