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Summary

In order to investigate the role of the plant hormones gibberellin (GA) and abscisic acid (ABA) in seed development and germination the GA biosynthetic inhibitor, Uniconazol, was used to isolate mutants with abnormal germination profiles. In one of these mutants, the ability to germinate on Uniconazol is due to a mutation in the ABI3 gene. However, unlike the previously reported abi3 mutant, this line displays an array of seed-specific developmental defects. The accumulation of seed reserve proteins is dramatically reduced due to reduced levels of the storage protein mRNA. The embryos remain green throughout development and are desiccation intolerant. However, immature seeds are completely non-dormant and grow normally. These results suggest the ABI3 gene is essential for the synthesis of seed storage proteins and for the protection of the embryo during desiccation.