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Plant Cell. 2012 Dec;24(12):4875-91. doi: 10.1105/tpc.112.104315. Epub 2012 Dec 31.

A dominant point mutation in a RINGv E3 ubiquitin ligase homoeologous gene leads to cleistogamy in Brassica napus.

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  • 1Unité de Recherche en Génomique Végétale Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université d'Evry Val d'Essones, Organization and Evolution of Plant Genomes, 91057 Evry cedex, France.


In the allopolyploid Brassica napus, we obtained a petal-closed flower mutation by ethyl methanesulfonate mutagenesis. Here, we report cloning and characterization of the Bn-CLG1A (CLG for cleistogamy) gene and the Bn-clg1A-1D mutant allele responsible for the cleistogamy phenotype. Bn-CLG1A encodes a RINGv E3 ubiquitin ligase that is highly conserved across eukaryotes. In the Bn-clg1A-1D mutant allele, a C-to-T transition converts a Pro at position 325 to a Leu (P325L), causing a dominant mutation leading to cleistogamy. B. napus and Arabidopsis thaliana plants transformed with a Bn-clg1A-1D allele show cleistogamous flowers, and characterization of these flowers suggests that the Bn-clg1A-1D mutation causes a pronounced negative regulation of cutin biosynthesis or loading and affects elongation or differentiation of petal and sepal cells. This results in an inhibition or a delay of petal development, leading to folded petals. A homoeologous gene (Bn-CLG1C), which shows 99.5% amino acid identity and is also constitutively and equally expressed to the wild-type Bn-CLG1A gene, was also identified. We showed that P325L is not a loss-of-function mutation and did not affect expression of Bn-clg1A-1D or Bn-CLG1C. Our findings suggest that P325L is a gain-of-function semidominant mutation, which led to either hyper- or neofunctionalization of a redundant homoeologous gene.

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