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The MADS-Domain Protein AGAMOUS-Like 15 Accumulates in Embryonic Tissues with Diverse Origins1

American Society of Plant Physiologists
Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Biology


AGL15 (AGAMOUS-like 15), a member of the MADS-domain family of regulatory factors, accumulates preferentially in the organs and tissues derived from double fertilization in flowering plants (i.e. the embryo, suspensor, and endosperm). The developmental role of AGL15 is still undefined. If it is involved in embryogenesis rather than some other aspect of seed biology, then AGL15 protein should accumulate whenever development proceeds in the embryonic mode, regardless of the origin of those embryos or their developmental context. To test this, we used AGL15-specific antibodies to analyze apomictic embryogenesis in dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), microspore embryogenesis in oilseed rape (Brassica napus), and somatic embryogenesis in alfalfa (Medicago sativa). In every case, AGL15 accumulated to relatively high levels in the nuclei of the embryos. AGL15 also accumulated in cotyledon-like organs produced by the xtc2 (extra cotyledon2) mutant of Arabidopsis and during precocious germination in oilseed rape. Furthermore, the subcellular localization of AGL15 appeared to be developmentally regulated in all embryogenic situations. AGL15 was initially present in the cytoplasm of cells and became nuclear localized before or soon after embryogenic cell divisions began. These results support the hypothesis that AGL15 participates in the regulation of programs active during the early stages of embryo development.

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