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Plant J. 2007 Jun;50(5):858-72. Epub 2007 Apr 25.

Arabidopsis Ovate Family Protein 1 is a transcriptional repressor that suppresses cell elongation.

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Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.


Transcription factors regulate multiple aspects of plant growth and development. Here we report the identification and functional analysis of a plant-specific, novel transcription factor in Arabidopsis. We isolated a dominant, gain-of-function mutant that displays reduced lengths in all aerial organs including hypocotyl, rosette leaf, cauline leaf, inflorescence stem, floral organs and silique. Molecular cloning revealed that these phenotypes are caused by elevated expression of the Arabidopsis thaliana Ovate Family Protein 1 (AtOFP1). This mutant was designated as Atofp1-1D. We show that the altered morphology of Atofp1-1D mutant is caused by reduced cell length resulting from reduced cell elongation, and demonstrate that a mutant harboring a transposon insertion that disrupts the OVATE domain of AtOFP1 is indistinguishable from wild-type plants. Plants overexpressing other closely related AtOFP genes phenocopy plants overexpressing AtOFP1, implying a possible overlapping function among members of the AtOFP gene family. We found that AtOFP1 localizes in the nucleus, and that AtOFP1 functions as an active transcriptional repressor. Chromatin immunoprecipitation results indicated that AtGA20ox1, a gene encoding the key enzyme in GA biosynthesis, is a target gene regulated by AtOFP1. Consistent with this, exogenous gibberellic acid can partially restore defects in cell elongation in plants overexpressing AtOFP1, suggesting that such a reduced cell elongation is caused, in part, by the deficiency in gibberellin biosynthesis. Taken together, our results indicate that AtOFP1 is an active transcriptional repressor that has a role in regulating cell elongation in plants.

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