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Land plants are characterised by haplo-diploid life cycles, and developing ovules are the organs in which the haploid and diploid generations coexist. Recently it has been shown that hormones such as auxin and cytokinins play important roles in ovule development and patterning. The establishment and regulation of auxin levels in cells is predominantly determined by the activity of the auxin efflux carrier proteins PIN-FORMED (PIN). To study the roles of PIN1 and PIN3 during ovule development we have used mutant alleles of both genes and also perturbed PIN1 and PIN3 expression using micro-RNAs controlled by the ovule specific DEFH9 (DEFIFICENS Homologue 9) promoter. PIN1 down-regulation and pin1-5 mutation severely affect female gametophyte development since embryo sacs arrest at the mono- and/or bi-nuclear stages (FG1 and FG3 stage). PIN3 function is not required for ovule development in wild-type or PIN1-silenced plants. We show that sporophytically expressed PIN1 is required for megagametogenesis, suggesting that sporophytic auxin flux might control the early stages of female gametophyte development, although auxin response is not visible in developing embryo sacs.


Luca Ceccato, Simona Masiero, Dola Sinha Roy, Stefano Bencivenga, Irma Roig-Villanova, Franck Anicet Ditengou, Klaus Palme, Rüdiger Simon, Lucia Colombo. Maternal control of PIN1 is required for female gametophyte development in Arabidopsis. PloS one. 2013;8(6):e66148

PMID: 23799075

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