Regulation of the Arabidopsis anther transcriptome by DYT1 for pollen development

Authors

  • Baomin Feng,

    1. Department of Biology, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

    • Present address: Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

  • Dihong Lu,

    1. Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Plant Biology, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Xuan Ma,

    1. Intercollege Graduate Program in Cell and Developmental Biology, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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  • Yiben Peng,

    1. Peking–Yale Joint Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agrobiotechnology, National Laboratory for Protein Engineering and Plant Genetic Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
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  • Yujin Sun,

    1. Department of Biology, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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    • Present address: Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

  • Gang Ning,

    1. Department of Biology, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
    2. Microscopy and Cytometry Facility, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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  • Hong Ma

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering and Institute of Plant Biology, Center for Evolutionary Biology, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
    2. Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China
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(e-mail hongma@fudan.edu.cn).

Summary

Several genes encoding transcription factors have been shown to be essential for male fertility in plants, suggesting that transcriptional regulation is a major mechanism controlling anther development in Arabidopsis. DYSFUNCTIONAL TAPETUM 1 (DYT1), a putative bHLH transcription factor, plays a critical role in regulating tapetum function and pollen development. Here, we compare the transcriptomes of young anthers of wild-type and the dyt1 mutant, demonstrating that DYT1 is upstream of at least 22 genes encoding transcription factors and regulates the expression of a large number of genes, including genes involved in specific metabolic pathways. We also show that DYT1 can bind to DNA in a sequence-specific manner in vitro, and induction of DYT1 activity in vivo activated the expression of the downstream transcription factor genes MYB35 and MS1. We generated DYT1–SRDX transgenic plants whose fertility was dramatically reduced, implying that DYT1 probably acts as a transcriptional activator. Furthermore, we used yeast two-hybrid assays to show that DYT1 forms homodimers and heterodimers with other bHLH transcription factors. Our results demonstrate the important role of DYT1 in regulating anther transcriptome and function, and supporting normal pollen development.

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