Arabidopsis thaliana DOF6 negatively affects germination in non-after-ripened seeds and interacts with TCP14

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Abstract

Seed dormancy prevents seeds from germinating under environmental conditions unfavourable for plant growth and development and constitutes an evolutionary advantage. Dry storage, also known as after-ripening, gradually decreases seed dormancy by mechanisms not well understood. An Arabidopsis thaliana DOF transcription factor gene (DOF6) affecting seed germination has been characterized. The transcript levels of this gene accumulate in dry seeds and decay gradually during after-ripening and also upon seed imbibition. While constitutive over-expression of DOF6 produced aberrant growth and sterility in the plant, its over-expression induced upon seed imbibition triggered delayed germination, abscisic acid (ABA)-hypersensitive phenotypes and increased expression of the ABA biosynthetic gene ABA1 and ABA-related stress genes. Wild-type germination and gene expression were gradually restored during seed after-ripening, despite of DOF6-induced over-expression. DOF6 was found to interact in a yeast two-hybrid system and in planta with TCP14, a previously described positive regulator of seed germination. The expression of ABA1 and ABA-related stress genes was also enhanced in tcp14 knock-out mutants. Taken together, these results indicate that DOF6 negatively affects seed germination and opposes TCP14 function in the regulation of a specific set of ABA-related genes.

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