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PLoS One. 2013 Sep 4;8(9):e73291. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0073291. eCollection 2013.

Analysis of essential Arabidopsis nuclear genes encoding plastid-targeted proteins.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, United States of America.

Abstract

The Chloroplast 2010 Project (http://www.plastid.msu.edu/) identified and phenotypically characterized homozygous mutants in over three thousand genes, the majority of which encode plastid-targeted proteins. Despite extensive screening by the community, no homozygous mutant alleles were available for several hundred genes, suggesting that these might be enriched for genes of essential function. Attempts were made to generate homozygotes in ~1200 of these lines and 521 of the homozygous viable lines obtained were deposited in the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (http://abrc.osu.edu/). Lines that did not yield a homozygote in soil were tested as potentially homozygous lethal due to defects either in seed or seedling development. Mutants were characterized at four stages of development: developing seed, mature seed, at germination, and developing seedlings. To distinguish seed development or seed pigment-defective mutants from seedling development mutants, development of seeds was assayed in siliques from heterozygous plants. Segregating seeds from heterozygous parents were sown on supplemented media in an attempt to rescue homozygous seedlings that could not germinate or survive in soil. Growth of segregating seeds in air and air enriched to 0.3% carbon dioxide was compared to discover mutants potentially impaired in photorespiration or otherwise responsive to CO2 supplementation. Chlorophyll fluorescence measurements identified CO2-responsive mutants with altered photosynthetic parameters. Examples of genes with a viable mutant allele and one or more putative homozygous-lethal alleles were documented. RT-PCR of homozygotes for potentially weak alleles revealed that essential genes may remain undiscovered because of the lack of a true null mutant allele. This work revealed 33 genes with two or more lethal alleles and 73 genes whose essentiality was not confirmed with an independent lethal mutation, although in some cases second leaky alleles were identified.

PMID:
24023856
PMCID:
PMC3762728
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0073291
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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