A dwarf mutant, dw arf 2 (dw2), was isolated from sunflower (Helianthus annuus). The most obvious alterations of dw2 plants were the lack of stem growth, reduced size of leaves, petioles and flower organs, retarded flower development. Pollen and ovules were produced but the filaments failed to extrude the anthers from the corolla. The dw2 phenotype was mainly because of reduced cell size. In dw2 leaves, the dark-green color was not so much due to higher pigment content, but was correlated with a changed leaf morphology. The mutant responded to the application of bioactive gibberellins (GAs). The levels of ent-7α-hydroxykaurenoic acid, GA19, GA20 and GA1 in dw2 seedlings were severely decreased relative to those in its wild type (WT). ent-Kaurenoic acid was actively converted to ent-7α-hydroxykaurenoic acid in WT plants but quite poorly in dw2 plants. All together these data suggested that the dw2 mutation severely reduced the flux through the biosynthetic pathway leading to active GAs by hampering the conversion of ent-kaurenoic acid to GA12. Two ent-kaurenoic acid oxidase (KAO) genes were identified. HaKAO1 was expressed everywhere in sunflower organs, while HaKAO2 was mainly expressed in roots. We demonstrated that a DNA deletion in HaKAO1 of dw2 generated aberrant mRNA-splicing, causing a premature stop codon in the amino acid sequence. In dw2 calli, Agrobacterium-mediated transfer of WT HaKAO1 cDNA restored the WT endogenous levels of GAs. In segregating BC1 progeny, the deletion co-segregated with the dwarf phenotype. The deletion was generated near to a breakpoint of a more complex chromosome rearrangement.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2011
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