Carpel, a new Arabidopsis epi-mutant of the SUPERMAN gene: phenotypic analysis and DNA methylation status

Plant Cell Physiol. 1999 Sep;40(9):961-72. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.pcp.a029629.


The carpel (car) mutation affects the morphology of reproductive organs in Arabidopsis thaliana. car flowers have an increased number of carpels, on average 2.7 +/- 0.8 instead of two in the wild type. Through allelism test with fon1-3 and analysis of the methylation state of the SUPERMAN (SUP) gene in car mutants, we show that car is an epi-mutation of SUP. The methylation pattern of car is clearly distinct from that of fon1-3, another epi-mutation of the SUP gene. Methylation was found predominantly in Cp(A/T)p(A/G) triplets and in CpG pairs. We suggest that the extensive SUP methylation in car has arisen from an abundant methylation of a single CpG site that was already present in abscisic acid-insensitive (abi3-4) mutants, from which car was segregating.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins*
  • Base Sequence
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA Methylation*
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Plant / genetics*
  • DNA, Plant / physiology
  • Dinucleoside Phosphates / genetics
  • Dinucleoside Phosphates / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Stems
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Plant
  • Dinucleoside Phosphates
  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • superman protein, Arabidopsis
  • cytidylyl-3'-5'-guanosine