, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 819-827

Two novel MYB homologues with changed expression in late embryogenesis-defective Arabidopsis mutants

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Two novel MYB genes (ATMYBR1 and ATMYBR2) were isolated from Arabidopsis thaliana. Binding to a conserved MYB recognition sequence is demonstrated for the ATMYBR1 protein. The expression of both genes is affected by the fus3, lec1 and abi3 mutations causing pleiotropic defects during late embryogenesis and seed maturation including the loss of dormancy and desiccation tolerance. The strong increase of the transcript levels of both MYB genes during very late stages of embryogenesis typically found in wild type is missing in the mutants. Furthermore, the expression of both MYB genes is developmentally regulated in vegetative tissues. The highly conserved repeats (R2 and R3) of the DNA binding MYB domain of both proteins represent chimeric structures combining features typical of plant and animal derived proteins. This demonstrates the existence of a distinct subfamily of animal-like MYB factors in plant genomes.