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The Effect of Alpha-Amanitin on the Arabidopsis Seed Proteome Highlights the Distinct Roles of Stored and Neosynthesized mRNAs during Germination

Abstract : To investigate the role of stored and neosynthesized mRNAs in seed germination, we examined the effect of a-amanitin, a transcriptional inhibitor targeting RNA polymerase II, on the germination of nondormant Arabidopsis seeds. We used transparent testa mutants, of which seed coat is highly permeable, to better ascertain that the drug can reach the embryo during seed imbibition. Even with the most permeable mutant (tt2-1), germination (radicle protrusion) occurred in the absence of transcription, while subsequent seedling growth was blocked. In contrast, germination was abolished in the presence of the translational inhibitor cycloheximide. Taken together, the results highlight the role of stored proteins and mRNAs for germination in Arabidopsis and show that in this species the potential for germination is largely programmed during the seed maturation process. The a-amanitin-resistant germination exhibited characteristic features. First, this germination was strongly slowed down, indicating that de novo transcription normally allows the synthesis of factor(s) activating the germination rate. Second, the sensitivity of germination to gibberellic acid was reduced 15-fold, confirming the role of this phytohormone in germination. Third, de novo synthesis of enzymes involved in reserve mobilization and resumption of metabolic activity was repressed, thus accounting for the failure in seedling establishment. Fourth, germinating seeds can recapitulate at least part of the seed maturation program, being capable of using mRNAs stored during development. Thus, commitment to germination and plant growth requires transcription of genes allowing the imbibed seed to discriminate between mRNAs to be utilized in germination and those to be destroyed.
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Loïc Rajjou, Karine Gallardo, Isabelle Debeaujon, Joël Vandekerckhove, Claudette Job, et al.. The Effect of Alpha-Amanitin on the Arabidopsis Seed Proteome Highlights the Distinct Roles of Stored and Neosynthesized mRNAs during Germination. Plant Physiology, American Society of Plant Biologists, 2004, 134 (4), pp.1598-1613. ⟨10.1104/pp.103.036293⟩. ⟨hal-01508727⟩

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