[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Arabidopsis gene LEUNIG was previously found to regulate floral organ identity. In this work we describe gynoecial phenotypes of newly isolated strong leunig alleles, leunig-101, leunig-102, and leunig-103. Gynoecia of these strong leunig mutants are united only at the basal part, leaving four unfused parts at the apex. Among them two medial ones are styles capped with stigmas, and two lateral ones are protrusions from valves. The gynoecium with unfused apex in leunig arises as a unit from a basal meristematic zone, suggesting that LEUNIG is required for normal congenital gynoecium fusion. The epidermal cells on growing inner surfaces of leunig gynoecium failed to fuse after they contact each other, indicating that LEUNIG is essential for the proper postgenital fusion. The epidermal cells at the very distal portion of protruded valves mimic those on wild-type styles, and those valves occasionally also have stigma-like tissues, indicating that LEUNIG function is required for the valve identity determination. We have also analyzed clavata1-4 leunig-101, clavata2-1 lug-101, fruitfull-1 leunig-101, and pinoid-1 leunig-101 double mutants. clavata1-4 leunig-101 and clavata2-1 leunig-101 exhibited additive phenotypes of single mutants, suggesting that LEUNIG and CLAVATA genes function in different pathways. In contrast, FRUITFULL and PINOID genes interact with LEUNIG to regulate gynoecium development. genesis 26:42-54, 2000.