, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 285-294
Date: 28 Jan 2010

A WD40-repeat gene from Malus × domestica is a functional homologue of Arabidopsis thaliana TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA1

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The WD40 repeat protein TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA1 (TTG1) is involved in a multitude of developmental and biochemical reactions in Arabidopsis thaliana such as the production of seed coat colour and mucilage, pigmentation by anthocyanins as well as the formation of trichomes and root hairs. In this study, a putative TTG1 homologue was isolated from apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) showing 80.2% identity to A. thaliana TTG1 on nucleotide and 90.7% similarity on amino acid level. The MdTTG1 candidate was able to activate the AtBAN promoter in cooperation with the A. thaliana transcription factors TT2 and TT8 in A. thaliana protoplasts. This indicates that the encoded protein can be integrated into the complex that activates BAN in A. thaliana, and that a similar complex might also be present in apple. When transformed into ttg1 mutants of A. thaliana, the apple sequence was able to restore trichome growth, anthocyanin production in young seedlings as well as proanthocyanidin production in seeds. Additionally, roots of complemented mutant plants showed root hair formation resembling wild type. These results show that the studied apple WD40 gene is a functional homologue of AtTTG1 and we refer to this gene as MdTTG1.

Nucleotide sequences reported in this paper were submitted to GenBank under accession numbers GU173813 and GU173814.
Communicated by R. Schmidt.