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Plant Physiol. 2002 Feb;128(2):482-90.

Resistance against herbicide isoxaben and cellulose deficiency caused by distinct mutations in same cellulose synthase isoform CESA6.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 78026 Versailles cedex, France.


Isoxaben is a pre-emergence herbicide that inhibits cellulose biosynthesis in higher plants. Two loci identified by isoxaben-resistant mutants (ixr1-1, ixr1-2, and ixr2-1) in Arabidopsis have been reported previously. IXR1 was recently shown to encode the cellulose synthase catalytic subunit CESA3 (W.-R. Scheible, R. Eshed, T. Richmond, D. Delmer, and C. Somerville [2001] Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98: 10079-10084). Here, we report on the cloning of IXR2, and show that it encodes another cellulose synthase isoform, CESA6. ixr2-1 carries a mutation substituting an amino acid close to the C terminus of CESA6 that is highly conserved among CESA family members. Transformation of wild-type plants with the mutated gene and not with the wild-type gene conferred increased resistance against the herbicide. The simplest interpretation for the existence of these two isoxaben-resistant loci is that CESA3 and CESA6 have redundant functions. However, loss of function procuste1 alleles of CESA6 were previously shown to have a strong growth defect and reduced cellulose content in roots and dark-grown hypocotyls. This indicates that in these mutants, the presence of CESA3 does not compensate for the absence of CESA6 in roots and dark-grown hypocotyls, which argues against redundant functions for CESA3 and CESA6. Together, these observations are compatible with a model in which CESA6 and CESA3 are active as a protein complex.

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