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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The SPA quartet: a family of WD-repeat proteins with a central role in suppression of photomorphogenesis in arabidopsis.

The Arabidopsis thaliana proteins suppressor of phytochrome A-105 1 (SPA1), SPA3, and SPA4 of the four-member SPA1 protein family have been shown to repress photomorphogenesis in light-grown seedlings. Here, we demonstrate that spa quadruple mutant seedlings with defects in SPA1, SPA2, SPA3, and SPA4 undergo strong constitutive photomorphogenesis in the dark. Consistent with this finding, adult spa quadruple mutants are extremely small and dwarfed. These extreme phenotypes are only observed when all SPA genes are mutated, indicating functional redundancy among SPA genes. Differential contributions of individual SPA genes were revealed by analysis of spa double and triple mutant genotypes. SPA1 and SPA2 predominate in dark-grown seedlings, whereas SPA3 and SPA4 prevalently regulate the elongation growth in adult plants. Further analysis of SPA2 function indicated that SPA2 is a potent repressor of photomorphogenesis only in the dark but not in the light. The SPA2 protein is constitutively nuclear localized in planta and can physically interact with the repressor COP1. Epistasis analysis between spa2 and cop1 mutations provides strong genetic support for a biological significance of a COP1-SPA2 interaction in the plant. Taken together, our results have identified a new family of proteins that is essential for suppression of photomorphogenesis in darkness.[1]


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