The two Arabidopsis RPS6 genes, encoding for cytoplasmic ribosomal proteins S6, are functionally equivalent

Plant Mol Biol. 2010 Jul;73(4-5):533-46. doi: 10.1007/s11103-010-9639-y. Epub 2010 May 1.


Many eukaryotic genomes have experienced ancient whole-genome duplication (WGD) followed by massive gene loss. These eliminations were not random since some gene families were preferentially retained as duplicates. The gene balance hypothesis suggests that those genes with dosage reduction can imbalance their interacting partners or complex, resulting in decreased fitness. In Arabidopsis, the cytoplasmic ribosomal proteins (RP) are encoded by gene families with at least two members. We have focused our study on the two RPS6 genes in an attempt to understand why they have been retained as duplicates. We demonstrate that RPS6 function is vital for the plant. We also show that reducing the level of RPS6 accumulation (in the knock-out rps6a or rps6b single mutants, or in the double heterozygous RPS6A/rps6a,RPS6B/rps6b), confers a slow growth phenotype (haplodeficiency). Importantly, we demonstrate that the functions of two RPS6 genes are redundant and interchangeable. Finally, like in most other described Arabidopsis rp mutants, we observed that a reduced RPS6 level slightly alters the dorsoventral leaf patterning. Our results support the idea that the Arabidopsis RPS6 gene duplicates were evolutionarily retained in order to maintain an expression level necessary to sustain the translational demand of the cell, in agreement with the gene balance hypothesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism*
  • Gametogenesis
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Meristem / genetics
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Pollen / growth & development
  • Polyribosomes / metabolism
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 / metabolism*
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics*
  • Ribosomal Proteins / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • RPS6 protein, Arabidopsis
  • RPS6B protein, Arabidopsis
  • Ribosomal Protein S6
  • Ribosomal Proteins