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Plant Cell. 2003 Mar;15(3):626-38.

Disruption mutations of ADA2b and GCN5 transcriptional adaptor genes dramatically affect Arabidopsis growth, development, and gene expression.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1319, USA.


We previously identified Arabidopsis genes homologous with the yeast ADA2 and GCN5 genes that encode components of the ADA and SAGA histone acetyltransferase complexes. In this report, we explore the biological roles of the Arabidopsis ADA2b and GCN5 genes. T-DNA insertion mutations in ADA2b and GCN5 were found to have pleiotropic effects on plant growth and development, including dwarf size, aberrant root development, and short petals and stamens in flowers. Approximately 5% of the 8200 genes assayed by DNA microarray analysis showed changes of expression in the mutants, three-fourths of which were upregulated and only half of which were altered similarly in the two mutant strains. In cold acclimation experiments, C-repeat binding factors (CBFs) were induced in the mutants as in wild-type plants, but subsequent transcription of cold-regulated (COR) genes was reduced in both mutants. Remarkably, nonacclimated ada2b-1 (but not gcn5-1) mutant plants were more freezing tolerant than nonacclimated wild-type plants, suggesting that ADA2b may directly or indirectly repress a freezing tolerance mechanism that does not require the expression of CBF or COR genes. We conclude that the Arabidopsis ADA2b and GCN5 proteins have both similar and distinct functions in plant growth, development, and gene expression and may be components of both a common coactivator complex and separate complexes with distinct biological activities.

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