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Free Content Characterization of a novel putative zinc finger gene MIF1: involvement in multiple hormonal regulation of Arabidopsis development

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Phytohormones play crucial roles in regulating many aspects of plant development. Although much has been learned about the effects of individual hormones, cross-talk between and integration of different hormonal signals are still not well understood. We present a study of MINI ZINC FINGER 1 (MIF1), a putative zinc finger protein from Arabidopsis, and suggest that it may be involved in integrating signals from multiple hormones. MIF1 homologs are highly conserved among seed plants, each characterized by a very short sequence containing a central putative zinc finger domain. Constitutive overexpression of MIF1 caused dramatic developmental defects, including dwarfism, reduced apical dominance, extreme longevity, dark-green leaves, altered flower morphology, poor fertility, reduced hypocotyl length, spoon-like cotyledons, reduced root growth, and ectopic root hairs on hypocotyls and cotyledons. In addition, 35S::MIF1 seedlings underwent constitutive photomorphogenesis in the dark, with root growth similar to that in the light. Furthermore, 35S::MIF1 seedlings were demonstrated to be non-responsive to gibberellin (GA) for cell elongation, hypersensitive to the GA synthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol (PAC) and abscisic acid (ABA), and hyposensitive to auxin, brassinosteroid and cytokinin, but normally responsive to ethylene. The de-etiolation defect could not be rescued by the hormones tested. Consistent with these observations, genome-scale expression profiling revealed that 35S::MIF1 seedlings exhibited decreased expression of genes involved in GA, auxin and brassinosteroid signaling as well as cell elongation/expansion, and increased expression of ABA-responsive genes. We propose that MIF1, or the protein(s) with which MIF1 interacts, is involved in mediating the control of plant development by multiple hormones.
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Keywords: MINI ZINC FINGER 1; gene duplication; gibberellin; photomorphogenesis; plant hormones; seedling development

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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