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Unte, Ulrike S.; Sorensen, Anna-Marie; Pesaresi, Paolo; Gandikota, Madhuri; Leister, Dario; Saedler, Heinz and Huijser, Peter (2003): SPL8, an SBP-box gene that affects pollen sac development in Arabidopsis. In: The plant cell, Vol. 15, No. 4: pp. 1009-1019 [PDF, 429kB]


SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-box genes (SBP-box genes) encode plant-specific proteins that share a highly conserved DNA binding domain, the SBP domain. Although likely to represent transcription factors, little is known about their role in development. In Arabidopsis, SBP-box genes constitute a structurally heterogeneous family of 16 members known as SPL genes. For one of these genes, SPL8, we isolated three independent transposon-tagged mutants, all of which exhibited a strong reduction in fertility. Microscopic analysis revealed that this reduced fertility is attributable primarily to abnormally developed microsporangia, which exhibit premeiotic abortion of the sporocytes. In addition to its role in microsporogenesis, the SPL8 knockout also seems to affect megasporogenesis, trichome formation on sepals, and stamen filament elongation. The SPL8 mutants described help to uncover the roles of SBP-box genes in plant development.

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