A brassinosteroid-insensitive mutant in Arabidopsis thaliana exhibits multiple defects in growth and development

Plant Physiol. 1996 Jul;111(3):671-8. doi: 10.1104/pp.111.3.671.


Brassinosteroids are widely distributed plant compounds that modulate cell elongation and division, but little is known about the mechanism of action of these plant growth regulators. To investigate brassinosteroids as signals influencing plant growth and development, we identified a brassinosteroid-insensitive mutant in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Henyh. ecotype Columbia. The mutant, termed bri1, did not respond to brassinosteroids in hypocotyl elongation and primary root inhibition assays, but it did retain sensitivity to auxins, cytokinins, ethylene, abscisic acid, and gibberellins. The bri1 mutant showed multiple deficiencies in developmental pathways that could not be rescued by brassinosteroid treatment including a severely dwarfed stature; dark green, thickened leaves; males sterility; reduced apical dominance; and de-etiolation of dark-grown seedlings. Genetic analysis suggests that the Bri1 phenotype is caused by a recessive mutation in a single gene with pleiotropic effects that maps 1.6 centimorgans from the cleaved, amplified, polymorphic sequence marker DHS1 on the bottom of chromosome IV. The multiple and dramatic effects of mutation of the BRI1 locus on development suggests that the BRI1 gene may play a critical role in brassinosteroid perception or signal transduction.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / drug effects
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Brassinosteroids
  • Cholestanols / pharmacology*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate
  • Ethylenes / pharmacology
  • Mutagenesis
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Growth Regulators / pharmacology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Signal Transduction
  • Steroids, Heterocyclic / pharmacology*


  • Brassinosteroids
  • Cholestanols
  • Ethylenes
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Steroids, Heterocyclic
  • ethylene
  • Ethyl Methanesulfonate
  • brassinolide