Localised and non-localised promotion of fruit development by seeds in Arabidopsis Academic Article uri icon


  • In Arabidopsis, as in the majority of flowering plants, developing seeds promote fruit growth. One method to investigate this interaction is to use plants with reduced seed set and determine the effect on fruit growth. Plants homozygous for a transgene designed to ectopically express a gene encoding a gibberellin-deactivating enzyme exhibit reduced pollen tube elongation, suggesting that the plant hormone gibberellin is required for this process. Reduced pollen tube growth causes reduced seed set and decreased silique (fruit) size, and this genotype is used to explore the relationship between seed set and fruit elongation. A detailed analysis of seed set in the transgenic line reveals that reduced pollen tube growth decreases the probability of each ovule being fertilised. This effect becomes progressively more severe as the distance between the stigma and the ovule increases, revealing the complex biology underlying seed fertilisation. In terms of seed-promoted fruit growth, major localised and minor non-localised components that contribute to final silique length can be identified. This result demonstrates that despite the relatively small size of the fruit and associated structures, Arabidopsis can be used as a model to investigate fundamental questions in fruit physiology.

publication date

  • 2006