Gibberellins Are Required for Seed Development and Pollen Tube Growth in Arabidopsis Academic Article uri icon


  • Gibberellins (GAs) are tetracyclic diterpenoids that are essential endogenous regulators of plant growth and development. GA levels within the plant are regulated by a homeostatic mechanism that includes changes in the expression of a family of GA-inactivating enzymes known as GA 2-oxidases. Ectopic expression of a pea GA 2-oxidase2 cDNA caused seed abortion in Arabidopsis, extending and confirming previous observations obtained with GA-deficient mutants of pea, suggesting that GAs have an essential role in seed development. A new physiological role for GAs in pollen tube growth in vivo also has been identified. The growth of pollen tubes carrying the 35S:2ox2 transgene was reduced relative to that of nontransgenic pollen, and this phenotype could be reversed partially by GA application in vitro or by combining with spy-5, a mutation that increases GA response. Treatment of wild-type pollen tubes with an inhibitor of GA biosynthesis in vitro also suggested that GAs are required for normal pollen tube growth. These results extend the known physiological roles of GAs in Arabidopsis development and suggest that GAs are required for normal pollen tube growth, a physiological role for GAs that has not been established previously.

publication date

  • December 2002