An EAR-Dependent Regulatory Module Promotes Male Germ Cell Division and Sperm Fertility in Arabidopsis

Borg M., Rutley N., Kagale S., Hamamura Y., Gherghinoiu M., Kumar S., ...More

PLANT CELL, vol.26, no.5, pp.2098-2113, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1105/tpc.114.124743
  • Journal Name: PLANT CELL
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2098-2113
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: No


The production of the sperm cells in angiosperms requires coordination of cell division and cell differentiation. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the germline-specific MYB protein DUO1 integrates these processes, but the regulatory hierarchy in which DUO1 functions is unknown. Here, we identify an essential role for two germline-specific DUO1 target genes, DAZ1 and DAZ2, which encode EAR motif-containing C2H2-type zinc finger proteins. We show that DAZ1/DAZ2 are required for germ cell division and for the proper accumulation of mitotic cyclins. Importantly, DAZ1/DAZ2 are sufficient to promote G2-to M-phase transition and germ cell division in the absence of DUO1. DAZ1/DAZ2 are also required for DUO1-dependent cell differentiation and are essential for gamete fusion at fertilization. We demonstrate that the two EAR motifs in DAZ1/DAZ2 mediate their function in the male germline and are required for transcriptional repression and for physical interaction with the corepressor TOPLESS. Our findings uncover an essential module in a regulatory hierarchy that drives mitotic transition in male germ cells and implicates gene repression pathways in sperm cell formation and fertility.