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Free Content AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR 2 (ARF2): a pleiotropic developmental regulator

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AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORS (ARFs) regulate auxin-mediated transcriptional activation/repression. They are encoded by a gene family in Arabidopsis, and each member is thought to play a central role in various auxin-mediated developmental processes. We have characterized three arf2 mutant alleles, arf2-6, arf2-7 and arf2-8. The mutants exhibit pleiotropic developmental phenotypes, including large, dark green rosette leaves, delayed flowering, thick and long inflorescence, abnormal flower morphology and sterility in early formed flowers, large organ size and delayed senescence and abscission, compared with wild-type plants. In addition, arf2 mutant seedlings have elongated hypocotyls with enlarged cotyledons under various light conditions. The transcription of ACS2, ACS6 and ACS8 genes is impaired in the developing siliques of arf2-6. The phenotypes of all three alleles are similar to those of the loss-of-function mutants obtained by RNA interference or co-suppression. There is no significant effect of the mutation on global auxin-regulated gene expression in young seedlings, suggesting that ARF2 does not participate in auxin signaling at that particular developmental stage of the plant life cycle. Because ARF2 is thought to function as a transcriptional repressor, the prospect arises that its pleiotropic effects may be mediated by negatively modulating the transcription of downstream genes in signaling pathways that are involved in cell growth and senescence.
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Keywords: ACC synthase; auxin response factor; growth; senescence

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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