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Plant Cell. 2001 Dec;13(12):2631-41.

A mutant Arabidopsis heterotrimeric G-protein beta subunit affects leaf, flower, and fruit development.

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Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA.


A genetic screen was performed to find new mutants with an erecta (er) phenotype and to identify genes that may function with ER, a receptor-like kinase. These mutants were named elk (for erecta-like) and were placed into five complementation groups. We positionally cloned ELK4 and determined that it encodes AGB1, a putative heterotrimeric G-protein beta subunit. Therefore, elk4 was renamed agb1. agb1-1 plants express similar fruit phenotypes, as seen in er plants, but differ from er in that the stem is only slightly shorter than that in the wild type, the pedicel is slightly longer than that in the wild type, and the leaves are rounder than those in er mutants. Molecular analysis of agb1-1 indicates that it is likely a null allele. AGB1 mRNA is expressed in all tissues tested but is highest in the silique. Analysis of agb1-1 er double mutants suggests that AGB1 may function in an ER developmental pathway regulating silique width but that it functions in parallel pathways affecting silique length as well as leaf and stem development. The finding that AGB1 is involved in the control of organ shape suggests that heterotrimeric G-protein signaling is a developmental regulator in Arabidopsis.

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