SUPERMAN regulates floral whorl boundaries through control of auxin biosynthesis
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Proper floral patterning, including the number and position of floral organs in most plant species, is tightly controlled by the precise regulation of the persistence and size of floral meristems (FMs). In Arabidopsis, two known feedback pathways, one composed of WUSCHEL (WUS) and CLAVATA3 (CLV3) and the other composed of AGAMOUS (AG) and WUS, spatially and temporally control floral stem cells, respectively. However, mounting evidence suggests that other factors, including phytohormones, are also involved in floral meristem regulation. Here, we show that the boundary gene SUPERMAN (SUP) bridges floral organogenesis and floral meristem determinacy in another pathway that involves auxin signaling. SUP interacts with components of polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) and fine‐tunes local auxin signaling by negatively regulating the expression of the auxin biosynthesis genes YUCCA1/4 (YUC1/4). In sup mutants, derepressed local YUC1/4 activity elevates auxin levels at the boundary between whorls 3 and 4, which leads to an increase in the number and the prolonged maintenance of floral stem cells, and consequently an increase in the number of reproductive organs. Our work presents a new floral meristem regulatory mechanism, in which SUP, a boundary gene, coordinates floral organogenesis and floral meristem size through fine‐tuning auxin biosynthesis.