Submitted to: American Society of Plant Biologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 20, 2004
Publication Date: July 24, 2004
Citation: Dinkins, R.D. 2004. Analysis of an Arabidopsis Superman-Like Single Zinc Finger Gene. American Society of Plant Biologists. page 97, abstract 317. Interpretive Summary: The C2H2 zinc finger protein is one of the best characterized transcription factors in animal systems, however, higher plants contain several distinct types of zinc finger proteins not found in other organisms. One of these contains a single zinc finger domain. Of the known twenty-eight single zinc finger protein genes in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, only two have been characterized at the genetic and molecular level, namely, SUPERMAN and RABBIT EARS. Mutations in both of these genes result in plants with abnormal flower developments suggesting that the protein products are required during flowering. I have obtained mutants in three additional single zinc finger genes and am in the process of analysis of plant and flower development. Preliminary results suggest that these genes are not essential in plant or flower development as the mutant plants appear normal. Additional studies are in progress to determine whether combinations of these genes may be required by combining the mutations in individual plants.
Technical Abstract: The zinc finger transcription factor gene family is the largest group of transcription factors, and its members are involved in diverse and very significant roles in growth and development. The C2H2 zinc finger protein is one of the best characterized transcription factors in animal systems, however, higher plants contain several distinct types of zinc finger proteins not found in other eukaryotes, one of which contains only a single Cys2-His2 (C2H2) zinc finger domain. The best characterized member of the single C2H2 zinc finger family of proteins to date is the Arabidopsis thaliana SUPERMAN (SUP) gene which is required for flower and ovule development. Recently a second Arabidopsis single C2H2 zinc finger protein, RABBIT EARS (RBE), has been shown to also affect flower and ovule development. There are twenty-eight putative single C2H2 zinc finger proteins in the Arabidopsis genome, and the functions of the remaining of these is unknown. I have obtained mutant alleles in two additional Arabidopsis single zinc finger genes, AtZFP10 and AtZFP11 from the Arabidopsis TILLING Project. One allele in the AtZFP10 gene contains a stop codon mid-protein. Unfortunately, no visible phenotype has been observed in the homozygous mutant plants suggesting that this gene may be redundant. Preliminary analysis of mutant alleles in the AtZFP11 gene suggest that one of the mutant alleles in the zinc finger domain, similar to the sup-9 allele, results in plants that have a stunted phenotype, flower later and have a reduced number of ovules. Additional characterization is ongoing. The Atzfp11 and Atzfp10 mutant alleles have also been intercrossed, as well as crossed to sup and rbe mutant alleles to test for redundancy. Results from this work will be presented.