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Plant Mol Biol. 2007 Aug;64(6):657-72. Epub 2007 May 30.

Developmental defects and seedling lethality in apyrase AtAPY1 and AtAPY2 double knockout mutants.

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Department of Biology, Section of Molecular Biotechnology, Technical University of Dresden, 01062, Dresden, Germany.


Previously it was shown that the Arabidopsis apyrase genes AtAPY1 and AtAPY2 are crucial for male fertility because mutant pollen (apy1-1; apy2-1) with T-DNA insertions in both genes could not germinate (Steinebrunner et al. (2003) Plant Physiol. 131: 1638-1647). In this study, pollen germination was restored and apyrase T-DNA double knockouts (DKO) apy1-1/apy1-1; apy2-1/apy2-1 were generated by complementation with AtAPY2 under the control of a pollen-specific promoter. The DKO phenotype displayed developmental defects including the lack of functional root and shoot meristems. In cotyledons, morphogenetic and patterning abnormalities were apparent, e.g., unlobed pavement cells and stomatal clusters. Another set of lines was created which carried either AtAPY1 or AtAPY2 under a dexamethasone-(DEX)-inducible promoter as an additional transgene to the pollen-specific gene construct. Application of DEX did not reverse the DKO phenotype to wild-type, but some inducible lines exhibited less severe defects even in the absence of the inducer, probably due to some background expression. However, even these DKO mutants were seedling-lethal and shared other defects regarding cell division, cell expansion and stomatal patterning. Taken together, the defects in the DKO mutants demonstrate that AtAPY1 and AtAPY2 are essential for normal plant development.

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