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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Requirement for Abasic Endonuclease Gene Homologues in Arabidopsis Seed Development

  • Author(s): Murphy, Terence M.
  • Belmonte, Mark
  • Shu, Stephanie
  • Britt, Anne B.
  • Hatteroth, James
  • et al.

Arabidopsis thaliana has three genes, Ape1L, Ape2, and Arp, that show homology to abasic (apurinic/apyrimidinic) endonuclease genes of bacterial, yeast, or animal cells. In bacteria, yeast, and animals, abasic endonucleases function in base excision repair of oxidized and other modified DNA bases. Here we report that plants with knock-out mutations in any one of Ape1L, Ape2, or Arp show no apparent differences from wild type in growth rate, growth habit, and fertility. However, coincident knock-out mutations in Ape1L and Ape2 are lethal and lead to abortion of developing embryos. Mutations of Arp are not deleterious, even in combination with one of the other two mutations. The results are consistent with the interpretation that the process of base excision repair, involving at least one intact copy of Ape1L or Ape2, is required in the process of embryogenesis.

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