Disruption of the homogentisate solanesyltransferase gene results in albino and dwarf phenotypes and root, trichome and stomata defects in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Research paper by Yuehui Y Chao, Junmei J Kang, Tiejun T Zhang, Qingchuan Q Yang, Margaret Yvonne MY Gruber, Yan Y Sun

Indexed on: 20 Apr '14Published on: 20 Apr '14Published in: PloS one


Homogentisate solanesyltransferase (HST) plays an important role in plastoquinone (PQ) biosynthesis and acts as the electron acceptor in the carotenoids and abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis pathways. We isolated and identified a T-DNA insertion mutant of the HST gene that displayed the albino and dwarf phenotypes. PCR analyses and functional complementation also confirmed that the mutant phenotypes were caused by disruption of the HST gene. The mutants also had some developmental defects, including trichome development and stomata closure defects. Chloroplast development was also arrested and chlorophyll (Chl) was almost absent. Developmental defects in the chloroplasts were consistent with the SDS-PAGE result and the RNAi transgenic phenotype. Exogenous gibberellin (GA) could partially rescue the dwarf phenotype and the root development defects and exogenous ABA could rescue the stomata closure defects. Further analysis showed that ABA and GA levels were both very low in the pds2-1 mutants, which suggested that biosynthesis inhibition by GAs and ABA contributed to the pds2-1 mutants' phenotypes. An early flowering phenotype was found in pds2-1 mutants, which showed that disruption of the HST gene promoted flowering by partially regulating plant hormones. RNA-sequencing showed that disruption of the HST gene resulted in expression changes to many of the genes involved in flowering time regulation and in the biosynthesis of PQ, Chl, GAs, ABA and carotenoids. These results suggest that HST is essential for chloroplast development, hormone biosynthesis, pigment accumulation and plant development.