A role for an alternative splice variant of PIF6 in the control of Arabidopsis primary seed dormancy
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- Penfield, S., Josse, EM. & Halliday, K.J. Plant Mol Biol (2010) 73: 89. doi:10.1007/s11103-009-9571-1
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Phytochrome interacting factor (PIF) transcription factors have been shown to be important in the regulation of seed dormancy and germination by environmental cues. Many PIF-family transcription factors are expressed in seeds but only PIF1 and SPATULA (SPT) have been tested for a role in germination control. Here we show that PIF6 is expressed strongly during seed development, and that two splice variants exist, one full length (the α form), and a second, the β form, in which a cryptic intron containing the potential DNA binding domain is spliced out, predicted to lead to the generation of a premature stop codon. Loss of PIF6 increases primary seed dormancy, whereas overexpression of the β form, but not the α form, reduce dormancy. Our data show the potential for natural splice variants of PIF transcription factors to be important in the evolution of the control of environmental signalling in plants.