Normal embryo development is required for correct seedling formation. The Arabidopsis gurke and pasticcino3 mutants were isolated from different developmental screens and the corresponding embryos exhibit severe defects in their apical region, affecting bilateral symmetry. We have recently identified lethal acc1 mutants affected in acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACCase 1) that display a similar embryo phenotype. A series of crosses showed that gk and pas3 are allelic to acc1 mutants, and direct sequencing of the ACC1 gene revealed point mutations in these new alleles. The isolation of leaky acc1 alleles demonstrated that ACCase 1 is essential for correct plant development and that mutations in ACCase affect cellular division in plants, as is the case in yeast. Interestingly, significant metabolic complementation of the mutant phenotype was obtained by exogenous supply of malonate, suggesting that the lack of cytosolic malonyl-CoA is likely to be the initial factor leading to abnormal development in the acc1 mutants.
2004. Vol. 5, no 5