A temperature-sensitive mutant of Arabidopsis, root initiation defective 2-1 (rid2-1), is characterized by peculiar defects in callus formation. To gain insights into the requirements for the reactivation of cell division, we analyzed this mutant and isolated the gene responsible, RID2. The phenotypes of rid2-1 in tissue culture and in seedlings indicated that the rid2 mutation has various (acute and non-acute) inhibitory effects on different aspects of cell proliferation. This suggests that the RID2 function is not directly involved in every cycle of cell division, but is related to 'vitality', supporting cell proliferation. The rid2-1 mutation was shown to cause nucleolar vacuolation and excessive accumulation of various intermediates of pre-rRNA processing. Positional cloning of the RID2 gene revealed that it encodes an evolutionarily conserved methyltransferase-like protein, which was found to localize in the nucleus, with accumulation being most evident in the nucleolus. It can be inferred from these findings that RID2 contributes to the nucleolar activity for pre-rRNA processing, probably through some methylation reaction.
© 2011 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.