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Plant Physiol. 2006 Jun;141(2):745-57. Epub 2006 Apr 21.

WRI1 is required for seed germination and seedling establishment.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, 48824, USA.


Storage compound accumulation during seed development prepares the next generation of plants for survival. Therefore, processes involved in the regulation and synthesis of storage compound accumulation during seed development bear relevance to germination and seedling establishment. The wrinkled1 (wri1) mutant of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) is impaired in seed oil accumulation. The WRI1 gene encodes an APETALA2/ethylene-responsive element-binding protein transcription factor involved in the control of metabolism, particularly glycolysis, in the developing seeds. Here we investigate the role of this regulatory factor in seed germination and seedling establishment by comparing the wri1-1 mutant, transgenic lines expressing the WRI1 wild-type cDNA in the wri1-1 mutant background, and the wild type. Plants altered in the expression of the WRI1 gene showed different germination responses to the growth factor abscisic acid (ABA), sugars, and fatty acids provided in the medium. Germination of the mutant was more sensitive to ABA, sugars, and osmolites, an effect that was alleviated by increased WRI1 expression in transgenic lines. The expression of ABA-responsive genes AtEM6 and ABA-insensitive 3 (ABI3) was increased in the wri1-1 mutant. Double-mutant analysis between abi3-3 and wri1-1 suggested that WRI1 and ABI3, a transcription factor mediating ABA responses in seeds, act in parallel pathways. Addition of 2-deoxyglucose inhibited seed germination, but did so less in lines overexpressing WRI1. Seedling establishment was decreased in the wri1-1 mutant but could be alleviated by sucrose. Apart from a possible signaling role in germination, sugars in the medium were required as building blocks and energy supply during wri1-1 seedling establishment.

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