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Development. 2001 Nov;128(21):4289-99.

An Arabidopsis Minute-like phenotype caused by a semi-dominant mutation in a RIBOSOMAL PROTEIN S5 gene.

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Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, Leiden University, Clusius Laboratory, Wassenaarseweg 64, 2333 AL, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Mutations in ribosomal protein (RP) genes in Drosophila lead to strong developmental phenotypes, expressed in the semi-dominant Minute syndrome. In plants, however, mutations in RP genes have so far only been reported to result in recessive developmental phenotypes. We present the analysis of an Arabidopsis promoter-trap line, in which a T-DNA insertion in an RPS5 gene (AtRPS5A) causes semi-dominant developmental phenotypes. Most cell-division processes are delayed or disturbed in the heterozygous mutant, and development is completely arrested at an early embryonic stage in the homozygous mutant. By analogy with Drosophila rp mutants, we have named this mutant Arabidopsis Minute-like 1 (aml1). As with other Arabidopsis RPs, RPS5 is represented by a small gene family, but in contrast to other described plant RPs, this family comprises only two members. The AtRPS5A gene (mutated in aml1) is strongly expressed in dividing cells, whereas expression of the second RPS5 gene, AtRPS5B, is lower than that of AtRPS5A, and is correlated with cell differentiation rather than cell division. From expression analyses we conclude that AtRPS5A is the most abundantly expressed RPS5 gene in Arabidopsis. The Minute-like defects in the aml1 mutant provide the first evidence that ribosome insufficiency leads to similar consequences in both plants and insects, and emphasize the general importance of efficient protein translation for cell proliferation in higher eukaryotes.

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