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Plant organs often grow into a genetically determined size and shape. How organ growth is finely regulated to achieve a well defined pattern is a fascinating, but largely unresolved, question in plant research. We utilised the Arabidopsis petal to study the genetic control of plant organ growth, and identify two closely related U-box E3 ligases PUB25 and PUB26 as important growth regulators by screening the targets of the petal-specific growth-promoting transcription factor RABBIT EARS (RBE). We showed that PUB25 is directly controlled by RBE in petal development in a spatial- and temporal-specific manner and acts as a major target to mediate RBE's function in petal growth. We also showed that PUB25 and PUB26 repress petal growth by restricting the period of cell proliferation, and their regulation appears to be independent of other plant E3 ligase genes implicated in growth control. PUB25 and PUB26 are among the first U-box E3 ligases shown to function in plant growth control. Furthermore, as they were also found to play a vital role in plant stress responses, PUB25 and PUB26 may act as a key hub to integrate developmental and environmental signals for balancing growth and defence in plants. © 2020 The Authors New Phytologist © 2020 New Phytologist Trust.


Jing Li, Yongxia Zhang, Zhong Gao, Xiumei Xu, Yanzhi Wang, Yaoxi Lin, Peiming Ye, Tengbo Huang. Plant U-box E3 ligases PUB25 and PUB26 control organ growth in Arabidopsis. The New phytologist. 2021 Jan;229(1):403-413

PMID: 32810874

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