Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Plant Physiol. 2004 Jul;135(3):1206-20.

Identification of genes required for embryo development in Arabidopsis.

Author information

  • 1Department of Botany, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078, USA.


A long-term goal of Arabidopsis research is to define the minimal gene set needed to produce a viable plant with a normal phenotype under diverse conditions. This will require both forward and reverse genetics along with novel strategies to characterize multigene families and redundant biochemical pathways. Here we describe an initial dataset of 250 EMB genes required for normal embryo development in Arabidopsis. This represents the first large-scale dataset of essential genes in a flowering plant. When compared with 550 genes with other knockout phenotypes, EMB genes are enriched for basal cellular functions, deficient in transcription factors and signaling components, have fewer paralogs, and are more likely to have counterparts among essential genes of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and worm (Caenorhabditis elegans). EMB genes also represent a valuable source of plant-specific proteins with unknown functions required for growth and development. Analyzing such unknowns is a central objective of genomics efforts worldwide. We focus here on 34 confirmed EMB genes with unknown functions, demonstrate that expression of these genes is not embryo-specific, validate a strategy for identifying interacting proteins through complementation with epitope-tagged proteins, and discuss the value of EMB genes in identifying novel proteins associated with important plant processes. Based on sequence comparison with essential genes in other model eukaryotes, we identify 244 candidate EMB genes without paralogs that represent promising targets for reverse genetics. These candidates should facilitate the recovery of additional genes required for seed development.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk