Mutation of a family 8 glycosyltransferase gene alters cell wall carbohydrate composition and causes a humidity-sensitive semi-sterile dwarf phenotype in Arabidopsis

Plant Mol Biol. 2003 Nov;53(5):647-661. doi: 10.1023/B:PLAN.0000019074.60542.6c.


The genome of Arabidopsis thaliana contains about 400 genes coding for glycosyltransferases, many of which are predicted to be involved in the synthesis and remodelling of cell wall components. We describe the isolation of a transposon-tagged mutant, parvus, which under low humidity conditions exhibits a severely dwarfed growth phenotype and failure of anther dehiscence resulting in semi-sterility. All aspects of the mutant phenotype were partially rescued by growth under high-humidity conditions, but not by the application of growth hormones or jasmonic acid. The mutation is caused by insertion of a maize Dissociation (Ds) element in a gene coding for a putative Golgi-localized glycosyltransferase belonging to family 8. Members of this family, originally identified on the basis of similarity to bacterial lipooligosaccharide glycosyltransferases, include enzymes known to be involved in the synthesis of bacterial and plant cell walls. Cell-wall carbohydrate analyses of the parvus mutant indicated reduced levels of rhamnogalacturonan I branching and alterations in the abundance of some xyloglucan linkages that may, however, be indirect consequences of the mutation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Carbohydrates / analysis*
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics
  • DNA, Complementary / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • DNA, Complementary / isolation & purification
  • DNA, Plant / chemistry
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • DNA, Plant / isolation & purification
  • Fertility / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / radiation effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / radiation effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / radiation effects
  • Glycosyltransferases / genetics*
  • Glycosyltransferases / metabolism
  • Humidity
  • Light
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family / genetics
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Mutation*
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / enzymology
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Growth Regulators / pharmacology
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Carbohydrates
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA, Plant
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Glycosyltransferases