A mutant Arabidopsis heterotrimeric G-protein beta subunit affects leaf, flower, and fruit development

Plant Cell. 2001 Dec;13(12):2631-41. doi: 10.1105/tpc.010315.


A genetic screen was performed to find new mutants with an erecta (er) phenotype and to identify genes that may function with ER, a receptor-like kinase. These mutants were named elk (for erecta-like) and were placed into five complementation groups. We positionally cloned ELK4 and determined that it encodes AGB1, a putative heterotrimeric G-protein beta subunit. Therefore, elk4 was renamed agb1. agb1-1 plants express similar fruit phenotypes, as seen in er plants, but differ from er in that the stem is only slightly shorter than that in the wild type, the pedicel is slightly longer than that in the wild type, and the leaves are rounder than those in er mutants. Molecular analysis of agb1-1 indicates that it is likely a null allele. AGB1 mRNA is expressed in all tissues tested but is highest in the silique. Analysis of agb1-1 er double mutants suggests that AGB1 may function in an ER developmental pathway regulating silique width but that it functions in parallel pathways affecting silique length as well as leaf and stem development. The finding that AGB1 is involved in the control of organ shape suggests that heterotrimeric G-protein signaling is a developmental regulator in Arabidopsis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis Proteins*
  • Fruit / genetics
  • Fruit / growth & development
  • GTP-Binding Protein beta Subunits*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / physiology
  • Plant Stems / genetics
  • Plant Stems / growth & development
  • Protein Subunits
  • Signal Transduction


  • AGB1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • GTP-Binding Protein beta Subunits
  • Plant Proteins
  • Protein Subunits
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins