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Plant J. 2001 Jul;27(1):25-35.

Hsp101 is necessary for heat tolerance but dispensable for development and germination in the absence of stress.

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Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.


Hsp101 is a molecular chaperone that is required for the development of thermotolerance in plants and other organisms. We report that Arabidopsis thaliana Hsp101 is also regulated during seed development in the absence of stress, in a pattern similar to that seen for LEA proteins and small Hsps; protein accumulates during mid-maturation and is stored in the dry seed. Two new alleles of the locus encoding Hsp101 (HOT1) were isolated from Arabidopsis T-DNA mutant populations. One allele, hot1-3, contains an insertion within the second exon and is null for Hsp101 protein expression. Despite the complete absence of Hsp101 protein, plant growth and development, as well as seed germination, are normal, demonstrating that Hsp101 chaperone activity is not essential in the absence of stress. In thermotolerance assays hot1-3 shows a similar, though somewhat more severe, phenotype to the previously described missense allele hot1-1, revealing that the hot1-1 mutation is also close to null for protein activity. The second new mutant allele, hot1-2, has an insertion in the promoter 101 bp 5' to the putative TATA element. During heat stress the hot1-2 mutant produces normal levels of protein in hypocotyls and 10-day-old seedlings, and it is wild type for thermotolerance at these stages. Thus this mutation has not disrupted the minimal promoter sequence required for heat regulation of Hsp101. The hot1-2 mutant also expresses Hsp101 in seeds, but at a tenfold reduced level, resulting in reduced thermotolerance of germinating seeds and underscoring the importance of Hsp101 to seed stress tolerance.

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