Identification of Stipules reduced, a leaf morphology gene in pea (Pisum sativum)

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Pea (Pisum sativum) is one of relatively few genetically amenable plant species with compound leaves. Pea leaves have a variety of specialized organs: leaflets, tendrils, pulvini and stipules, which enable the identification of mutations that transform or affect distinct parts of the leaf. Characterization of these mutations offers insights into the development and evolution of novel leaf traits. The previously characterized morphological gene Cochleata, conferring stipule identity, was known to interact with Stipules reduced (St), which conditions stipule size in pea, but the St gene remained unknown.Here we analysed Fast Neutron irradiated pea mutants by restriction site associated DNA sequencing.We identified St as a gene encoding a C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor that is regulated by Cochleata. St regulates both cell division and cell expansion in the stipule.Our approach shows how systematic genome‐wide screens can be used successfully for the analysis of traits in species for which whole genome sequences are not available.