Overexpression of constitutive differential growth 1 gene, which encodes a RLCKVII-subfamily protein kinase, causes abnormal differential and elongation growth after organ differentiation in Arabidopsis

Hideki Muto, Naoto Yabe, Tadao Asami, Koji Hasunuma, Kotaro T Yamamoto
Plant Physiology 2004, 136 (2): 3124-33
To better understand genetic regulation of differential growth of plant organs, a dominant and semidwarf mutant, constitutive differential growth 1-Dominant (cdg1-D), was isolated utilizing the technique of activation tagging. cdg1-D showed pleiotropic phenotype including dwarfism, exaggerated leaf epinasty, and twisted or spiral growth in hypocotyl, inflorescence stem, and petiole. Hypocotyls of cdg1-D were longer than those of wild type under light conditions. The phenotype was caused by activation tagging of CDG1 gene that encodes a receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase of RLCKVII subfamily. When treated with high concentrations of brassinolide, light-grown wild-type seedlings showed long hypocotyls and strong leaf epinasty as observed in cdg1-D seedlings. Treatment of cdg1-D with brassinazole, a specific inhibitor of brassinosteroid (BR) biosynthesis, did not rescue the mutant phenotype. Gene expression of CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENESIS AND DWARFISM involved in BR biosynthesis and phyB ACTIVATION-TAGGED SUPPRESSOR1 that inactivates BR was repressed and induced, respectively, in cdg1-D plants, suggesting constitutive activation of BR signaling in the mutant. CDG1 was expressed at a very low level in all the organs of the wild type tested. We isolated two independent intragenic suppressors of cdg1-D. However, they showed normal morphology and responded to BR in a similar manner to wild type. Taken together, CDG1 gene may interfere with signal transduction of BR when overexpressed, but is not an essential factor for it in the wild type.

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