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Planta. 2005 Mar;220(5):737-46. Epub 2005 Jan 27.

Suppression of heterotrimeric G-protein beta-subunit affects anther shape, pollen development and inflorescence architecture in tobacco.

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Institute of General Botany and Plant Physiology, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Dornburgerstr. 159, 07743 Jena, Germany.


The role of the heterotrimeric G-protein beta-subunit in plant development was studied in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) plants with reduced beta-subunit levels due to the antisense expression of the beta-subunit mRNA. The antisense plants had aberrant anther shape and produced non-germinating pollen. The anthers were sporadically transformed to petals, whereas other floral organs were not affected. The pollen grains were smaller than the wild-type pollen and had abnormal cell walls. The architecture of mature antisense plants was altered. The plants had long branched panicles and short stems. These data suggest that the beta-subunit of the plant heterotrimeric G-proteins is involved in the regulation of the reproductive phase of the tobacco life cycle, particularly in stamen development and pollen maturation.

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