HUA1 and HUA2 are two members of the floral homeotic AGAMOUS pathway.
The identities of the four floral organ types in an Arabidopsis flower are specified by the combinatorial activities of the floral homeotic A, B, and C function genes; AGAMOUS is the only known C function gene. We have identified two genes that interact with AG in the specification of floral structure, HUA1 and HUA2, from a screen for enhancers of a weak ag allele, ag-4. HUA1 and HUA2 are involved in all aspects of AG function. HUA2 encodes a novel protein that contains nuclear localization signals and signature motifs that suggest HUA2, like AG, may be a transcription factor. Molecular analyses suggest that HUA2 (and possibly HUA1) acts to facilitate AG action at the same hierarchical level as AG. (+info)
Rac homologues and compartmentalized phosphatidylinositol 4, 5-bisphosphate act in a common pathway to regulate polar pollen tube growth.
Pollen tube cells elongate based on actin- dependent targeted secretion at the tip. Rho family small GTPases have been implicated in the regulation of related processes in animal and yeast cells. We have functionally characterized Rac type Rho family proteins that are expressed in growing pollen tubes. Expression of dominant negative Rac inhibited pollen tube elongation, whereas expression of constitutive active Rac induced depolarized growth. Pollen tube Rac was found to accumulate at the tip plasma membrane and to physically associate with a phosphatidylinositol monophosphate kinase (PtdIns P-K) activity. Phosphatidylinositol 4, 5-bisphosphate (PtdIns 4, 5-P2), the product of PtdIns P-Ks, showed a similar intracellular localization as Rac. Expression of the pleckstrin homology (PH)-domain of phospholipase C (PLC)-delta1, which binds specifically to PtdIns 4, 5-P2, inhibited pollen tube elongation. These results indicate that Rac and PtdIns 4, 5-P2 act in a common pathway to control polar pollen tube growth and provide direct evidence for a function of PtdIns 4, 5-P2 compartmentalization in the regulation of this process. (+info)
Phloem transport: Are you chaperoned?
Long-distance transport via the vasculature in plants is critical for nutrient dissemination, as well as transport of growth regulatory molecules such as hormones. Evidence is now accumulating that protein and RNA molecules also use this transport pathway, possibly to regulate developmental and physiological processes. (+info)
The Arabidopsis FILAMENTOUS FLOWER gene is required for flower formation.
A screen for mutations affecting flower formation was carried out and several filamentous flower (fil) alleles were identified. In fil mutants, floral primordia occasionally give rise to pedicels lacking flowers at their ends. This defect is dramatically enhanced in fil rev double mutants, in which every floral primordium produces a flowerless pedicel. These data suggest that the FIL and REV genes are required for an early step of flower formation, possibly for the establishment of a flower-forming domain within the floral primordium. The FIL gene is also required for establishment of floral meristem identity and for flower development. During flower development, the FIL gene is required for floral organ formation in terms of the correct numbers and positions; correct spatial activity of the AGAMOUS, APETALA3, PISTILLATA and SUPERMAN genes; and floral organ development. (+info)
Polyadenylation accelerates the degradation of the mitochondrial mRNA associated with cytoplasmic male sterility in sunflower.
In sunflower, PET1-cytoplasmic male sterility is correlated with the presence of a novel mitochondrial gene (orf522) located 3' to the atpA gene. The dicistronic atpA-orf522 transcripts are preferentially destabilized in male florets of 'restored to fertility' plants as compared with sterile plants. In this report, we show that atpA-orf522 transcripts may be polyadenylated in vivo at their 3' termini and that a tissue-specific increase in the level of polyadenylated atpA-orf522 transcripts correlates with the tissue-specific instability of atpA-orf522 mRNAs in male florets of the restored hybrid plants. In addition, we have identified two distinct ribonuclease activities in sunflower mitochondria, one of which preferentially degrades polyadenylated as compared with non-polyadenylated RNA substrates corresponding to the 3' UTR of atpA-orf522 transcripts. These in vivo and in vitro results show that polyadenylation is involved in the degradation pathway of the mitochondrial atpA-orf522 transcripts and that polyadenylation can be developmentally regulated by a nuclear gene(s) upon restoration of fertility. (+info)
Cloning and characterization of a novel Mg(2+)/H(+) exchanger.
Cellular functions require adequate homeostasis of several divalent metal cations, including Mg(2+) and Zn(2+). Mg(2+), the most abundant free divalent cytoplasmic cation, is essential for many enzymatic reactions, while Zn(2+) is a structural constituent of various enzymes. Multicellular organisms have to balance not only the intake of Mg(2+) and Zn(2+), but also the distribution of these ions to various organs. To date, genes encoding Mg(2+) transport proteins have not been cloned from any multicellular organism. We report here the cloning and characterization of an Arabidopsis thaliana transporter, designated AtMHX, which is localized in the vacuolar membrane and functions as an electrogenic exchanger of protons with Mg(2+) and Zn(2+) ions. Functional homologs of AtMHX have not been cloned from any organism. Ectopic overexpression of AtMHX in transgenic tobacco plants render them sensitive to growth on media containing elevated levels of Mg(2+) or Zn(2+), but does not affect the total amounts of these minerals in shoots of the transgenic plants. AtMHX mRNA is mainly found at the vascular cylinder, and a large proportion of the mRNA is localized in close association with the xylem tracheary elements. This localization suggests that AtMHX may control the partitioning of Mg(2+) and Zn(2+) between the various plant organs. (+info)
PLENA and FARINELLI: redundancy and regulatory interactions between two Antirrhinum MADS-box factors controlling flower development.
We report the discovery of an Antirrhinum MADS-box gene, FARINELLI (FAR), and the isolation of far mutants by a reverse genetic screen. Despite striking similarities between FAR and the class C MADS-box gene PLENA (PLE), the phenotypes of their respective mutants are dramatically different. Unlike ple mutants, which show homeotic conversion of reproductive organs to perianth organs and a loss of floral determinacy, far mutants have normal flowers which are partially male-sterile. Expression studies of PLE and FAR, in wild-type and mutant backgrounds, show complex interactions between the two genes. Double mutant analysis reveals an unexpected, redundant negative control over the B-function MADS-box genes. This feature of the two Antirrhinum C-function-like genes is markedly different from the control of the inner boundary of the B-function expression domain in Arabidopsis, and we propose and discuss a model to account for these differences. The difference in phenotypes of mutants in two highly related genes illustrates the importance of the position within the regulatory network in determining gene function. (+info)
Transcriptional activation of APETALA1 by LEAFY.
Plants produce new appendages reiteratively from groups of stem cells called shoot apical meristems. LEAFY (LFY) and APETALA1 (AP1) are pivotal for the switch to the reproductive phase, where instead of leaves the shoot apical meristem produces flowers. Use of steroid-inducible activation of LFY demonstrated that early expression of AP1 is a result of transcriptional induction by LFY. This AP1 induction is independent of protein synthesis and occurs specifically in the tissues and at the developmental stage in which floral fate is assumed. Later expression of AP1 appears to be only indirectly affected by LFY. (+info)