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Free Content A mutation in the uvi4 gene promotes progression of endo-reduplication and confers increased tolerance towards ultraviolet B light

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We have isolated and characterized a new ultraviolet B (UV-B)-resistant mutant, uvi4 (UV-B-insensitive 4), of Arabidopsis. The fresh weight (FW) of uvi4 plants grown under supplemental UV-B light was more than twice that of the wild-type. No significant difference was found in their ability to repair the UV-B-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers, or in the amount of UV-B absorptive compounds, both of which are well-known factors that contribute to UV sensitivity. Positional cloning revealed that the UVI4 gene encodes a novel basic protein of unknown function. We found that the hypocotyl cells in uvi4 undergo one extra round of endo-reduplication. The uvi4 mutation also promoted the progression of endo-reduplication during leaf development. The UVI4 gene is expressed mainly in actively dividing cells. In the leaves of PUVI4::GUS plants, the GUS signal disappeared in basipetal fashion as the leaf developed. The total leaf blade area was not different between uvi4 and the wild-type through leaf development, while the average cell area in the adaxial epidermis was considerably larger in uvi4, suggesting that the uvi4 leaves have fewer but larger epidermal cells. These results suggest that UVI4 is necessary for the maintenance of the mitotic state, and the loss of UVI4 function stimulated endo-reduplication. Tetraploid Arabidopsis was hyper-resistant to UV-B compared to diploid Arabidopsis, suggesting that the enhanced polyploidization is responsible for the increased UV-B tolerance of the uvi4 mutant.
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Keywords: Arabidopsis; UVB sensitivity; endo-reduplication; mutant; ploidy; ultraviolet-B

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Radiation-Applied Biology Division, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Watanuki 1233, Takasaki, Gunma 370-1292, Japan, 2: Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, Kanazawa University, Takaramachi 13-1, Kanazawa, Kanazawa 920-0934, Japan

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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