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J Exp Bot. 2011 Oct;62(14):4917-26. doi: 10.1093/jxb/err174. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

Evidence for the involvement of the Arabidopsis SEC24A in male transmission.

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Michigan State University-DOE Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.


Eukaryotic cells use COPII-coated carriers for endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-to-Golgi protein transport. Selective cargo capture into ER-derived carriers is largely driven by the SEC24 component of the COPII coat. The Arabidopsis genome encodes three AtSEC24 genes with overlapping expression profiles but it is yet to be established whether the AtSEC24 proteins have overlapping roles in plant growth and development. Taking advantage of Arabidopsis thaliana as a model plant system for studying gene function in vivo, through reciprocal crosses, pollen characterization, and complementation tests, evidence is provided for a role for AtSEC24A in the male gametophyte. It is established that an AtSEC24A loss-of-function mutation is tolerated in the female gametophyte but that it causes defects in pollen leading to failure of male transmission of the AtSEC24A mutation. These data provide a characterization of plant SEC24 family in planta showing incompletely overlapping functions of the AtSEC24 isoforms. The results also attribute a novel role to SEC24 proteins in a multicellular model system, specifically in male fertility.

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