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Dev Cell. 2001 Aug;1(2):303-10.

VACUOLELESS1 is an essential gene required for vacuole formation and morphogenesis in Arabidopsis.

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MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824, USA.


Most plant cells are characterized by the presence of a large central vacuole that in differentiated cells accounts for more than 90% of the total volume. We have undertaken a genetic screen to look for mutants that are affected in the formation of vacuoles in plants. In this study, we report that inactivation of the Arabidopsis gene VACUOLELESS1 (VCL1) blocks vacuole formation and alters the pattern of cell division orientation and cell elongation in the embryo. Consistent with a role in vacuole biogenesis, we show that VCL1 encodes the Arabidopsis ortholog of yeast Vps16p. In contrast to yeast mutants that lack a vacuolar compartment but are viable and morphologically normal, loss of the plant vacuole leads to aberrant morphogenesis and embryonic lethality.

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