Loss of function of four DELLA genes leads to light- and gibberellin-independent seed germination in Arabidopsis

Planta. 2005 Dec;223(1):105-13. doi: 10.1007/s00425-005-0057-3. Epub 2005 Jul 21.


The Arabidopsis severe gibberellin-deficient mutant ga1-3 does not germinate even when the optimal light and temperature conditions are provided. This fact suggests that (1) gibberellin (GA) is absolutely necessary for the germination of an intact seed and (2) the ga1-3 mutant can be used as a good system to identify factors that repress seed germination. In this report, using ga1-3 mutation as the genetic background, we confirm that RGL2, one member of the DELLA family, encodes the predominant repressor of seed germination in Arabidopsis and show that the other DELLA genes GAI,RGA and RGL1 enhance the function of RGL2. More importantly, we show that ga1-3 seeds lacking RGA, RGL1 and RGL2 or GAI, RGL1 and RGL2, confer GA-independent germination in the light but not in the darkness whilst ga1-3 seeds lacking GAI, RGA and RGL2 germinate both in the light and darkness. This suggests that the destabilization or inactivation of RGA and GAI is not only triggered by GA but also possibly by light. In addition, ga1-3 seeds lacking in all the aforementioned four DELLA genes have elongated epidermal cells and confer light-, cold- and GA-independent seed germination. Therefore, DELLA proteins likely act as integrators of environmental and endogenous cues to regulate seed germination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / embryology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / physiology*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Darkness
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Germination / genetics*
  • Germination / physiology
  • Gibberellins / physiology
  • Light
  • Plant Epidermis / cytology
  • Plant Epidermis / embryology
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology
  • Seeds / physiology
  • Suppression, Genetic
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • GAI protein, Arabidopsis
  • Gibberellins
  • RGA protein, Arabidopsis
  • RGL1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • RGL2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • gibberellic acid