The compound leaf primordium of pea represents a marginal blastozone that initiates organ primordia, in an acropetal manner, from its growing distal region. The UNIFOLIATA (UNI) gene is important in marginal blastozone maintenance because loss or reduction of its function results in uni mutant leaves of reduced complexity. In this study, we show that UNI is expressed in the leaf blastozone over the period in which organ primordia are initiated and is downregulated at the time of leaf primordium determination. Prolonged UNI expression was associated with increased blastozone activity in the complex leaves of afila (af), cochleata (coch), and afila tendril-less (af tl) mutant plants. Our analysis suggests that UNI expression is negatively regulated by COCH in stipule primordia, by AF in proximal leaflet primordia, and by AF and TL in distal and terminal tendril primordia. We propose that the control of UNI expression by AF, TL, and COCH is important in the regulation of blastozone activity and pattern formation in the compound leaf primordium of the pea
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