The AtGRF family of putative transcription factors is involved in leaf and cotyledon growth in Arabidopsis

Authors

  • Jeong Hoe Kim,

    1. 1 Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1312, USA, and2Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1312, USA
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  • 1 Dongsu Choi,

    1. 1 Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1312, USA, and2Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1312, USA
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  • and 1 Hans Kende 1,2,

    Corresponding author
    1. 1 Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1312, USA, and2Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1312, USA
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For correspondence (fax +1 517 353 9168; e-mail hkende@msu.edu).

Summary

Previously, we identified a novel rice gene, GROWTH-REGULATING FACTOR1 (OsGRF1), which encodes a putative transcription factor that appears to play a regulatory role in stem elongation. We now describe the GRF gene family of Arabidopsis thaliana (AtGRF), which comprises nine members. The deduced AtGRF proteins contain the same characteristic regions—the QLQ (Gln, Leu, Gln) and WRC (Trp, Arg, Cys) domains—as do OsGRF1 and related proteins in rice, as well as features indicating a function in transcriptional regulation. Most of the AtGRF genes are strongly expressed in actively growing and developing tissues, such as shoot tips, flower buds, and roots, but weakly in mature stem and leaf tissues. Overexpression of AtGRF1 and AtGRF2 resulted in larger leaves and cotyledons, as well as in delayed bolting of the inflorescence stem when compared to wild-type plants. In contrast, triple insertional null mutants of AtGRF1–AtGRF3 had smaller leaves and cotyledons, whereas single mutants displayed no changes in phenotype and double mutants displayed only minor ones. The alteration of leaf growth in overexpressors and triple mutants was based on an increase or decrease in cell size, respectively. These results indicate that AtGRF proteins play a role in the regulation of cell expansion in leaf and cotyledon tissues.

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