[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We isolated Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with incurved vegetative leaves. Positional cloning of incurvata8 (icu8), icu9 and icu15 has identified them as new loss-of-function alleles of the HYPONASTIC LEAVES1 (HYL1), ARGONAUTE1 (AGO1) and HUA ENHANCER1 (HEN1) genes, respectively, which encode known components of the microRNA pathway. The morphological and histological characterization of these mutants and of dicer-like1-9 indicates that small RNAs participate in the proximal-distal and adaxial-abaxial patterning of leaves, as well as in stomatal number establishment. The abnormal vasculature of ago1 and hyl1 leaves also suggests a role for AGO1 and HYL1 in venation patterning. Our mutants expand the allelic series of AGO1, HYL1 and HEN1, and might help to understand the developmental and cellular significance of miRNA-mediated posttranscriptional regulation.
Plant and Cell Physiology 05/2012; 53(7):1322-33. · 4.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most chloroplast and mitochondrial proteins are encoded by nuclear genes, whose functions remain largely unknown because mutant alleles are lacking. A reverse genetics screen for mutations affecting the mitochondrial transcription termination factor (mTERF) family in Arabidopsis thaliana allowed us to identify 75 lines carrying T-DNA insertions. Two of them were homozygous for insertions in the At4g14605 gene, which we dubbed MDA1 (MTERF DEFECTIVE IN Arabidopsis1). The mda1 mutants exhibited altered chloroplast morphology and plant growth, and reduced pigmentation of cotyledons, leaves, stems and sepals. The mda1 mutations enhanced salt and osmotic stress tolerance and altered sugar responses during seedling establishment, possibly as a result of reduced ABA sensitivity. Loss of MDA1 function caused up-regulation of the RpoTp/SCA3 nuclear gene encoding a plastid RNA polymerase and modified the steady-state levels of chloroplast gene transcripts. Double mutant analyses indicated that MDA1 and the previously described mTERF genes SOLDAT10 and RUG2 act in different pathways. Our findings reveal a new role for mTERF proteins in the response to abiotic stress, probably through perturbed ABA retrograde signalling resulting from a disruption in chloroplast homeostasis.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e42924. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Organ growth depends on two distinct, yet integrated, processes: cell proliferation and post-mitotic cell expansion. Although the regulatory networks of plant cell proliferation during organ growth have begun to be unveiled, the mechanisms regulating post-mitotic cell growth remain mostly unknown. Here, we report the characterization of three EXIGUA (EXI) genes that encode different subunits of the cellulose synthase complex specifically required for secondary cell wall formation. Despite this highly specific role of EXI genes, all the cells within the leaf, even those that do not have secondary walls, display small sizes in the exi mutants. In addition, we found a positive correlation between cell size and the DNA ploidy levels in exi mutant leaves, suggesting that both processes share some regulatory components. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the collapsed xylem vessels of the exi mutants hamper water transport throughout the plant, which, in turn, limits the turgor pressure levels required for normal post-mitotic cell expansion during leaf growth.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e36500. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arabidopsis thaliana reticulate mutants exhibit differential pigmentation of the veinal and interveinal leaf regions, a visible phenotype that often indicates impaired mesophyll development. We performed a metabolomic analysis of one ven6 (venosa6) and three ven3 reticulate mutants that revealed altered levels of arginine precursors, namely increased ornithine and reduced citrulline levels. In addition, the mutants were more sensitive than the wild-type to exogenous ornithine, and leaf reticulation and mesophyll defects of these mutants were completely rescued by exogenous citrulline. Taken together, these results indicate that ven3 and ven6 mutants experience a blockage of the conversion of ornithine into citrulline in the arginine pathway. Consistent with the participation of VEN3 and VEN6 in the same pathway, the morphological phenotype of ven3 ven6 double mutants was synergistic. Map-based cloning showed that the VEN3 and VEN6 genes encode subunits of Arabidopsis carbamoyl phosphate synthetase (CPS), which is assumed to be required for the conversion of ornithine into citrulline in arginine biosynthesis. Heterologous expression of the Arabidopsis VEN3 and VEN6 genes in a CPS-deficient Escherichia coli strain fully restored bacterial growth in minimal medium, demonstrating the enzymatic activity of the VEN3 and VEN6 proteins, and indicating a conserved role for CPS in these distinct and distant species. Detailed study of the reticulate leaf phenotype in the ven3 and ven6 mutants revealed that mesophyll development is highly sensitive to impaired arginine biosynthesis.
The Plant Journal 02/2011; 65(3):335-45. · 6.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Arabidopsis thaliana, mutations in genes encoding ribosomal proteins (r-proteins) perturb various developmental processes. Whether these perturbations are caused by overall ribosome insufficiency or partial dysfunction of the ribosome caused by deficiency of a particular ribosomal protein is not known. To distinguish these possibilities, a comparative study using several r-protein mutants was required. Here, we identified mutations in 11 r-protein genes from previously isolated denticulata and pointed-leaves mutants. Most of these mutations were associated with pointed leaves, with reduced growth due to a decrease in the number or size of palisade mesophyll and pavement cells. In addition, leaf abaxialization was usually observed when these r-protein mutations were combined with asymmetric leaves1 (as1) and as2 mutations. These results suggest that the establishment of leaf polarity is highly sensitive to ribosome functionality in general. However, several r-protein mutants showed a preference towards a specific developmental defect. For example, rpl4d mutations did not affect cell proliferation but caused strong abaxialization of leaves in the as1 and as2 backgrounds. On the other hand, rps28b enhanced leaf abaxialization of as2 to a weaker extent than expected on the basis of its negative effect on cell proliferation. In addition, hypomorphic rps6a alleles had the strongest effects on most of the phenotypes examined. These findings suggest that deficiencies in these three r-protein genes lead to production of dysfunctional ribosomes. Depending on their structural abnormalities, dysfunctional ribosomes may affect translation of specific transcripts involved in the regulation of some leaf developmental processes.
The Plant Journal 12/2010; 65(5):724-36. · 6.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The characteristically flat structure of Arabidopsis thaliana vegetative leaves requires coordinating the growth of the epidermal, palisade mesophyll, spongy mesophyll and vascular tissues. Mutations disrupting such coordination or the specific growth properties of any of these tissues can cause hyponasty, epinasty, waviness or other deviations from flatness. Here, we show that the incurvata6 (icu6) semi-dominant allele of the AUXIN RESISTANT3 (AXR3) gene causes leaf hyponasty. Cotyledons and leaves of icu6/AXR3 plants exhibited reduced size of adaxial pavement cells, and abnormal expansion of palisade mesophyll cells. Enhanced auxin responses in the adaxial domain of icu6/AXR3 developing cotyledons and leaves correlated with increased cell divisions in the adaxial epidermis. Leaf incurvature in icu6/AXR3 leaves was alleviated by loss-of-function alleles of the ASYMMETRIC LEAVES1 (AS1) and AS2 genes, which restrict the expression of class I KNOX genes to the shoot apical meristem and regulate cell proliferation in leaf primordia. Taken together, our results suggest that an interaction between auxin responses and the AS1-AS2 pathway coordinates tissue growth during Arabidopsis thaliana leaf expansion.
Plant and Cell Physiology 10/2010; 51(10):1661-73. · 4.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify genes involved in vascular patterning in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), we screened for abnormal venation patterns in a large collection of leaf shape mutants isolated in our laboratory. The rotunda1-1 (ron1-1) mutant, initially isolated because of its rounded leaves, exhibited an open venation pattern, which resulted from an increased number of free-ending veins. We positionally cloned the RON1 gene and found it to be identical to FRY1/SAL1, which encodes an enzyme with inositol polyphosphate 1-phosphatase and 3' (2'),5'-bisphosphate nucleotidase activities and has not, to our knowledge, previously been related to venation patterning. The ron1-1 mutant and mutants affected in auxin homeostasis share perturbations in venation patterning, lateral root formation, root hair length, shoot branching, and apical dominance. These similarities prompted us to monitor the auxin response using a DR5-GUS auxin-responsive reporter transgene, the expression levels of which were increased in roots and reduced in leaves in the ron1-1 background. To gain insight into the function of RON1/FRY1/SAL1 during vascular development, we generated double mutants for genes involved in vein patterning and found that ron1 synergistically interacts with auxin resistant1 and hemivenata-1 but not with cotyledon vascular pattern1 (cvp1) and cvp2. These results suggest a role for inositol metabolism in the regulation of auxin responses. Microarray analysis of gene expression revealed that several hundred genes are misexpressed in ron1-1, which may explain the pleiotropic phenotype of this mutant. Metabolomic profiling of the ron1-1 mutant revealed changes in the levels of 38 metabolites, including myoinositol and indole-3-acetonitrile, a precursor of auxin.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Local hormone maxima are essential for the development of multicellular structures and organs. For example, steroid hormones accumulate in specific cell types of the animal fetus to induce sexual differentiation and concentration peaks of the plant hormone auxin direct organ initiation and mediate tissue patterning. Here we provide an example of a regulated local hormone minimum required during organogenesis. Our results demonstrate that formation of a local auxin minimum is necessary for specification of the valve margin separation layer where Arabidopsis fruit opening takes place. Consequently, ectopic production of auxin, specifically in valve margin cells, leads to a complete loss of proper cell fate determination. The valve margin identity factor INDEHISCENT (IND) is responsible for forming the auxin minimum by coordinating auxin efflux in separation-layer cells. We propose that the simplicity of formation and maintenance make local hormone minima particularly well suited to specify a small number of cells such as the stripes at the valve margins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, plant research has received a significant boost, partly due to the huge amount of data derived from the sequencing
projects of some genomes, especially those obtained in the model system Arabidopsis thaliana. The use of this crucifer in many plant biology laboratories all over the world, together with the development of new technologies,
have considerably increased research resources for dissecting gene function. Forward and reverse genetic approaches are still
fundamental for assessing gene function through the isolation and characterization of mutants. In this chapter, we first take
an overview, using Arabidopsis as a reference, of the methodologies and procedures used to infer gene function in plants through
mutagenesis screens and look at how high-throughput analysis of gene-indexed mutant collections is contributing to assessing
plant gene function on a genomic scale. We then discuss the forward and reverse genetic approaches currently used in crops
for understanding gene function, highlighting the importance of mutagenesis as a basis for generating useful genetic variants
and its significance for crop improvement.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large-scale exploratory approaches to understanding gene function laid the foundations for the -omics era. Based on modern technologies for the structural and functional characterization of genomes, these curiosity-driven approaches allow systematic accumulation of vast amounts of data, enabling subsequent hypothesis-driven research. Some years before the dawn of genomics, exploratory approaches were already furthering our understanding of gene function in the form of saturation mutagenesis experiments aimed at the identification of all genes that mutate to a given phenotype. Forward genetic approaches, conducted on experimental organisms such as Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans, have led to the isolation of mutants affected in specific developmental processes, whose cellular and molecular characterization has unraveled the underlying genetic mechanisms of animal development. To shed light on the making of plant leaves, in 1993 we initiated an attempt to identify as many viable and fertile mutants with abnormal leaf morphology as possible, using the Arabidopsis thaliana model organism. We identified 25 fast-neutron- and 153 ethyl-methane sulfonate-induced mutations, which fell into eight and 94 complementation groups, respectively. We also studied 115 publicly available mutant lines isolated by previous authors, which fell into 37 complementation groups. Although we did not reach saturation of the Arabidopsis thaliana genome, the broad spectrum of leaf morphological alterations identified is facilitating the dissection of specific leaf developmental processes. In a complementary approach, we also analyzed leaf architecture in natural accessions and two populations of recombinant inbred lines. Using a high-throughput gene mapping method, we have already cloned 25 of the genes identified by mutation, in some cases in collaboration with other groups. The products of these genes participate in various developmental processes, such as polar cell expansion, transduction of hormonal signals, gene regulation, plastid biogenesis, and chromatin remodeling, among others. The range of phenotypes and processes identified reveal the complexity of leaf ontogeny and will help explain the diversity of leaf morphology in nature.
The International journal of developmental biology 11/2008; 53(8-10):1623-34. · 2.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromatin modification and transcriptional activation are novel roles for E3 ubiquitin ligase proteins that have been mainly associated with ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. We identified HISTONE MONOUBIQUITINATION1 (HUB1) (and its homolog HUB2) in Arabidopsis thaliana as RING E3 ligase proteins with a function in organ growth. We show that HUB1 is a functional homolog of the human and yeast BRE1 proteins because it monoubiquitinated histone H2B in an in vitro assay. Hub knockdown mutants had pale leaf coloration, modified leaf shape, reduced rosette biomass, and inhibited primary root growth. One of the alleles had been designated previously as ang4-1. Kinematic analysis of leaf and root growth together with flow cytometry revealed defects in cell cycle activities. The hub1-1 (ang4-1) mutation increased cell cycle duration in young leaves and caused an early entry into the endocycles. Transcript profiling of shoot apical tissues of hub1-1 (ang4-1) indicated that key regulators of the G2-to-M transition were misexpressed. Based on the mutant characterization, we postulate that HUB1 mediates gene activation and cell cycle regulation probably through chromatin modifications.
The Plant Cell 03/2007; 19(2):417-32. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A number of mutants have been described in Arabidopsis, whose leaf vascular network can be clearly distinguished as a green reticulation on a paler lamina. One of these reticulate mutants was named reticulata (re) by Rédei in 1964 and has been used for years as a classical genetic marker for linkage analysis. Seven recessive alleles of the RE gene were studied, at least four of which seem to be null. Contrary to many other leaf mutants studied in Arabidopsis, very little pleiotropy was observed in the external morphology of the re mutants, whose only aberration obvious at first sight is the reticulation exhibited by cotyledons and leaves. The re alleles caused a marked reduction in the density of mesophyll cells in interveinal regions of the leaf, which does not result from perturbed plastid development in specific cells, but rather from a dramatic change in internal leaf architecture. Loss of function of the RE gene seems to specifically perturb mesophyll cell division in the early stages of leaf organogenesis. The leaves of re mutants were nearly normal in shape in spite of their extremely reduced mesophyll cell density, suggesting that the epidermis plays a major role in regulating leaf shape in Arabidopsis. The RE gene was positionally cloned and found to be expressed in all the major organs studied. RE encodes a protein of unknown function and is identical to the LCD1 gene, which was identified based on the increased sensitivity to ozone caused by its mutant allele lcd1-1. Double mutant analyses suggest that RE acts in a developmental pathway that involves CUE1 but does not include DOV1.
Journal of Experimental Botany 02/2006; 57(12):3019-31. · 5.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mapping method detailed here is based on the multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) coamplification of 32 molecular markers, using fluorescently labeled oligonucleotides as primers. For the genotyping of a single plant from a mapping population, only two simultaneous amplifications are required, the products of which are finally electrophoresed in an automated DNA sequencer controlled by fragment analysis software. An analysis of the genotypes of 50 plants allows mapping of the mutation of interest within a candidate genomic interval of about 15 cM (3 Mb, corresponding to about 40 BAC clones).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The key enzyme for transcription of protein-encoding genes in eukaryotes is RNA polymerase II (RNAPII). The recruitment of this enzyme during transcription initiation and its passage along the template during transcription elongation is regulated through the association and dissociation of several complexes. Elongator is a histone acetyl transferase complex, consisting of six subunits (ELP1-ELP6), that copurifies with the elongating RNAPII in yeast and humans. We demonstrate that point mutations in three Arabidopsis thaliana genes, encoding homologs of the yeast Elongator subunits ELP1, ELP3 (histone acetyl transferase), and ELP4 are responsible for the phenotypes of the elongata2 (elo2), elo3, and elo1 mutants, respectively. The elo mutants are characterized by narrow leaves and reduced root growth that results from a decreased cell division rate. Morphological and molecular phenotypes show that the ELONGATA (ELO) genes function in the same biological process and the epistatic interactions between the ELO genes can be explained by the model of complex formation in yeast. Furthermore, the plant Elongator complex is genetically positioned in the process of RNAPII-mediated transcription downstream of Mediator. Our data indicate that the Elongator complex is evolutionarily conserved in structure and function but reveal that the mechanism by which it stimulates cell proliferation is different in yeast and plants.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2005; 102(21):7754-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study of flower development has experienced great advances over the last 15 years. The most important landmark was the proposal of the ABC model in which three different functions of overlapping activities account for the development of the four rings of organs of the eudicot flower. Most interestingly, during recent years this simple and elegant model has been broadly accepted and is applicable to a wide range of plant species. However, recent advances in the characterization of protein interactions and the discovery of the SEPALLATA genes that are required for proper floral organ development have led to a revision of the ABC model. The largely accepted floral quartet model, which includes the new SEPALLATA function, postulates that the development of a specific floral organ is achieved by the formation of a single complex of different MADS-box proteins. The ultimate fate of the flower is to become a fruit, ensuring dispersal of the seeds and therefore survival of the species. The Arabidopsis fruit is a silique or pod. Only in the last five years important advances have been made in establishing the differentiation of the tissues required for the opening of the fruit: the valve margins and dehiscence zone. Classical genetic analyses and molecular biology approaches have pointed to the involvement of the transcription factors SHP, ALC and IND in the formation of these tissues and of FUL and RPL in repressing this identity in the bordering tissues, valves and replum, respectively.
The International Journal of Developmental Biology 02/2005; 49(5-6):633-43. · 2.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ABC model of flower organ identity is widely recognized as providing a framework for understanding the specification of flower organs in diverse plant species. Recent studies in Arabidopsis thaliana have shown that three closely related MADS-box genes, SEPALLATA1 (SEP1), SEP2 and SEP3, are required to specify petals, stamens, and carpels because these organs are converted into sepals in sep1 sep2 sep3 triple mutants. Additional studies indicate that the SEP proteins form multimeric complexes with the products of the B and C organ identity genes. Here, we characterize the SEP4 gene, which shares extensive sequence similarity to and an overlapping expression pattern with the other SEP genes. Although sep4 single mutants display a phenotype similar to that of wild-type plants, we find that floral organs are converted into leaf-like organs in sep1 sep2 sep3 sep4 quadruple mutants, indicating the involvement of all four SEP genes in the development of sepals. We also find that SEP4 contributes to the development of petals, stamens, and carpels in addition to sepals and that it plays an important role in meristem identity. These and other data demonstrate that the SEP genes play central roles in flower meristem identity and organ identity.
Current Biology 12/2004; 14(21):1935-40. · 9.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leaf development in Arabidopsis thaliana is considered to be a two-step process. In the first step, a leaf primordium is formed that involves a switch from indeterminate to leaf developmental fate in the shoot apical meristem cells. The second step, known as leaf morphogenesis, consists of post-initiation developmental events such as patterned cell proliferation, cell expansion, and cell differentiation. The results are presented of the molecular and genetic analyses of the rotunda2 (ron2) mutants of Arabidopsis, which were isolated based on their wide and serrated vegetative leaf lamina. The RON2 gene was positionally cloned and was identical to LEUNIG (LUG); it encodes a transcriptional co-repressor that has been described to affect flower development. Morphological and histological analyses of expanded leaves indicated that RON2 (LUG) acts at later stages of leaf development by restricting cell expansion during leaf growth. Real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to quantify the expression of KNOX, WUSCHEL, YABBY3, LEAFY, ASYMMETRIC LEAVES, and GIBBERELLIN OXIDASE genes in expanding and fully expanded rosette leaf laminas of the wild type and ron2 and lug mutants. SHOOTMERISTEMLESS was expressed in wild-type leaves and down-regulated in the mutants. The results indicate that RON2 (LUG) has a function in later stages of leaf development.
Journal of Experimental Botany 08/2004; 55(402):1529-39. · 5.79 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In most crop species, primary productivity depends mainly on the leaf. However, the genes that contribute to the making of plant leaves remain largely unknown. With a view to identifying the genes involved in leaf development in Arabidopsis thaliana, we previously isolated EMS-induced mutants with abnormally shaped leaves and demonstrated that they fall into 94 complementation groups. We present here the map positions of 76 of these genes, which have been obtained using a high-throughput genetic mapping method, based on the simultaneous coamplification by PCR of 21 polymorphic microsatellites and the semiautomated fluorescent detection of the products. The map positions and F2 mapping populations obtained in this work will be instrumental in the positional cloning of these genes, which are essential for leaf development.
Molecular Genetics and Genomics 10/2001; 266(1):12-9. · 2.88 Impact Factor