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Plant Physiol. 2001 Sep;127(1):14-22.

BIN2, a new brassinosteroid-insensitive locus in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1048, USA.


Brassinosteroids (BRs) play important roles throughout plant development. Although many genes have been identified that are involved in BR biosynthesis, genetic approaches in Arabidopsis have led to the identification of only one gene, BRI1, that encodes a membrane receptor for BRs. To expand our knowledge of the molecular mechanism(s) of plant steroid signaling, we analyzed many dwarf and semidwarf mutants collected from our previous genetic screens and identified a semidwarf mutant that showed little response to exogenous BR treatments. Genetic analysis of the bin2 (BR-INSENSITIVE 2) mutant indicated that the BR-insensitive dwarf phenotype was due to a semidominant mutation in the BIN2 gene that mapped to the middle of chromosome IV between the markers CH42 and AG. A direct screening for similar semidwarf mutants resulted in the identification of a second allele of the BIN2 gene. Despite some novel phenotypes observed with the bin2/+ mutants, the homozygous bin2 mutants were almost identical to the well-characterized bri1 mutants that are defective in BR perception. In addition to the BR-insensitive dwarf phenotype, bin2 mutants exhibited BR insensitivity when assayed for root growth inhibition and feedback inhibition of CPD gene expression. Furthermore, bin2 mutants displayed an abscisic acid-hypersensitive phenotype that is shared by the bri1 and BR-deficient mutants. A gene dosage experiment using triploid plants suggested that the bin2 phenotypes were likely caused by either neomorphic or hypermorphic gain-of-function mutations in the BIN2 gene. Thus, the two bin2 mutations define a novel genetic locus whose gene product might play a role in BR signaling.

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