, Volume 212, Issue 5-6, pp 659-672

Brassinosteroids, microtubules and cell elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana. I. Molecular, cellular and physiological characterization of the Arabidopsis bul1 mutant, defective in the Δ7-sterol-C5-desaturation step leading to brassinosteroid biosynthesis

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Although cell elongation is a basic function of plant morphogenesis, many of the molecular events involved in this process are still unknown. In this work an extremely dwarf mutant, originally named bul, was used to study one of the main processes of plant development, cell elongation. Genetic analyses revealed that the BUL locus was linked to the nga172 marker on chromosome 3. Recently, after mapping the new dwf7 mutation of Arabidopsis, which is allelic to ste1, it was reported that dwf7 is also linked to the same marker. Sterol analyses of the bul1-1 mutant indicated that bul1-1 is defective in the Δ7-sterol-C5-desaturation step leading to brassinosteroid biosynthesis. Considering these findings, we designated our bul mutant as bul1-1/dwf7-3/ste1-4. The bul1-1 mutant was characterized by a very dwarf phenotype, with delayed development and reduced fertility. The mutant leaves had a dark-green colour, which was probably due to continuous stomatal closure. The bul1-1 mutant showed a partially de-etiolated phenotype in the dark. Cellular characterization and rescue experiments with brassinosteroids demonstrated the involvement of the BUL1-1 protein in brassinosteroid-dependent plant growth processes.

Received: 28 April 2000 / Accepted: 6 October 2000