EMBRYO YELLOW gene, encoding a subunit of the conserved oligomeric Golgi complex, is required for appropriate cell expansion and meristem organization in Arabidopsis thaliana

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We identified an embryo yellow (eye) mutation in Arabidopsis that leads to the abnormal coloration and morphology of embryos. The eye mutant formed bushy plants, with aberrant organization of the shoot apical meristem (SAM) and unexpanded leaves with irregular phyllotaxy. The epidermal cells of the eye mutant were much smaller than that of the wild-type. Thus, EYE is required for expansion of cells and organs, and for formation of the organized SAM. Hydrophobic layers of epidermal cells were also disrupted, suggesting that EYE might be involved in the generation of the extra-cellular matrix. The mutated gene encoded a protein that is homologous to Cog7, a subunit of the conserved oligomeric Golgi (COG) complex, which is required for the normal morphology and function of the Golgi appratus. The eye mutation caused mislocalization of a Golgi protein. In addition, the size of the Golgi apparatus was also altered. Thus, EYE might be involved in transport or retention of Golgi-localized proteins and in maintenance of Golgi morphology. We propose that some Golgi-localized proteins, distributions of which are controlled by EYE, play important roles in expansion of cells and organs, and in formation of the properly organized SAM in plants.

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