Homeodomain‐leucine zipper (HD‐Zip) proteins are putative transcription factors identified only in plants. Related Arabidopsis homeobox genes, isolated by virtue of sequence conservation within the helix‐3 region of the homeodomain, fall into four families based on sequence similarity. This paper reports the characterization of Athb‐10, a 747 amino acid protein belonging to the fourth HD‐ZIP family. The studies indicate that, although less conserved, the leucine zipper of Athb‐10 can functionally replace that of Athb‐2 in an in vitro DNA‐binding assay. Gene mapping experiments and sequence comparison analysis revealed that Athb‐10 corresponds to GLABRA2, a homeodomain protein involved in trichome development. The mRNA expression analysis revealed that Athb‐10/GLABRA2 is expressed not only in trichome‐bearing organs, but also in the root. The analysis of wild‐type and mutant plants showed that the Athb‐10/GLABRA2 gene expression in the aerial part of the plant and in the root is affected by mutations at the TTG locus. Morphological analysis of the gl2‐1 mutant revealed that the gene is necessary not only for local outgrowth of the trichome, but also for the regulation of root hair development in a subset of epidermal cells. Interestingly, the development of root hair cells in a position normally occupied by non‐hair cells is dependent upon the ethylene regime in which the gl2‐1 plants are grown. Sequence analysis of the gl2‐1 allele revealed that the mutant gene encodes a truncated protein that might still retain a partial activity responsible for the formation of aborted trichomes and for the ethylene‐dependent regulation of root hair formation.
The Plant Journal – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 1996
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