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Plant Physiol. 2004 Mar;134(3):995-1005. Epub 2004 Feb 12.

PICKLE acts throughout the plant to repress expression of embryonic traits and may play a role in gibberellin-dependent responses.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.


A seed marks the transition between two developmental states; a plant is an embryo during seed formation, whereas it is a seedling after emergence from the seed. Two factors have been identified in Arabidopsis that play a role in establishment of repression of the embryonic state: PKL (PICKLE), which codes for a putative CHD3 chromatin remodeling factor, and gibberellin (GA), a plant growth regulator. Previous observations have also suggested that PKL mediates some aspects of GA responsiveness in the adult plant. To investigate possible mechanisms by which PKL and GA might act to repress the embryonic state, we further characterized the ability of PKL and GA to repress embryonic traits and reexamined the role of PKL in mediating GA-dependent responses. We found that PKL acts throughout the seedling to repress expression of embryonic traits. Although the ability of pkl seedlings to express embryonic traits is strongly induced by inhibiting GA biosynthesis, it is only marginally responsive to abscisic acid and SPY (SPINDLY), factors that have previously been demonstrated to inhibit GA-dependent responses during germination. We also observed that pkl plants exhibit the phenotypic hallmarks of a mutation in a positive regulator of a GA response pathway including reduced GA responsiveness and increased synthesis of bioactive GAs. These observations indicate that PKL may mediate a subset of GA-dependent responses during shoot development.

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