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Deletion of the eIFiso4G subunit of the Arabidopsis eIFiso4F translation initiation complex impairs health and viability


Arabidopsis thaliana knockout lines for the plant-specific eukaryotic translation initiation factors eIFiso4G1 (i4g1) and eIFiso4G2 (i4g2) genes have been obtained. To address the potential for functional redundancy of these genes, homozygous double mutant lines were generated by crossing individual knockout lines. Both single and double mutant plants were analyzed for changes in gross morphology, development, and responses to selected environmental stressors. Single gene knockouts appear to have minimal effect on morphology, germination rate, growth rate, flowering time, or fertility. However, double mutant i4g1/i4g2 knockout plants show reduced germination rates, slow growth rates, moderate chlorosis, impaired fertility and reduced long term seed viability. Double mutant plants also exhibit altered responses to dehydration, salinity, and heat stress. The i4g2 and i4g1/i4g2 double mutant has reduced amounts of chlorophyll a and b suggesting a role in the expression of chloroplast proteins. General protein synthesis did not appear to be affected as the levels of gross protein expression did not appear to change in the mutants. The lack of a phenotype for either of the single mutants suggests there is considerable functional overlap. However, the strong phenotypes observed for the double mutant indicates that the individual gene products may have specialized roles in the expression of proteins involved in plant growth and development.

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