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Title: The thanatos mutation in Arabidopsis thaliana cellulose synthase 3 (AtCesA3) has a dominant-negative effect on cellulose synthesis and plant growth
Authors: Daras, Gerasimos 
Rigas, Stamatis 
Penning, Bryan 
McCann, Maureen C. 
Carpita, Nicholas C. 
Fasseas, Constantinos 
Hatzopoulos, Polydefkis 
Milioni, Dimitra L. 
Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana
Cellulose biosynthesis
Cellulose synthases
Plant growth
Primary cell wall
Semi-dominant mutation
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: New Phytologist Trust
Source: New Phytologist. Volume 184 Issue 1, Pages 114 - 126
Abstract: Genetic functional analyses of mutants in plant genes encoding cellulose synthases (CesAs) have suggested that cellulose deposition requires the activity of multiple CesA proteins. Here, a genetic screen has led to the identification of thanatos (than), a semi-dominant mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana with impaired growth of seedlings. Homozygous seedlings of than germinate and grow but do not survive. In contrast to other CesA mutants, heterozygous plants are dwarfed and display a radially swollen root phenotype. Cellulose content is reduced by approximately one-fifth in heterozygous and by two-fifths in homozygous plants, showing gene-dosage dependence. Map-based cloning revealed an amino acid substitution (P578S) in the catalytic domain of the AtCesA3 gene, indicating a critical role for this residue in the structure and function of the cellulose synthase complex. Ab initio analysis of the AtCesA3 subdomain flanking the conserved proline residue predicted that the amino acid substitution to serine alters protein secondary structure in the catalytic domain. Gene dosage-dependent expression of the AtCesA3 mutant gene in wild-type A. thaliana plants resulted in a than dominant-negative phenotype. We propose that the incorporation of a mis-folded CesA3 subunit into the cellulose synthase complex may stall or prevent the formation of functional rosette complexes.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2009.02960.x
Rights: © 2010 New Phytologist Trust
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