Multicellular organisms need to modulate proliferation and differentiation in response to external conditions. An important role in these processes plays the mitogen-stimulated induction of cyclin D (cycD) gene expression. D-type cyclins have been identified as the crucial intracellular sensors for cell-cycle regulation in all eukaryotes. However, cycD deletions have been found to cause specific phenotypic alterations in animals but not yet in plants. An insertional mutation of a so far uncharacterized Arabidopsis cycD gene did not alter the plant phenotype. To gain new insights into CycD function of land plants, we generated targeted cycD gene knockouts in the moss Physcomitrella patens and observed a surprisingly limited disruption phenotype. While wild-type plants reacted to exogenous glucose sources with prolonged growth of juvenile stages and retarded differentiation, cycD knockouts exhibited developmental progression independent of sugar supply. On the other hand, growth rate, cell sizes or plant size were not affected. Thus, we conclude that Physcomitrella CycD might not be essential for cell-cycle regulation but is important for coupling the developmental progression to nutrient availability.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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