A Role for Brassinosteroids in Light-Dependent Development of Arabidopsis

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Science  19 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5260, pp. 398-401
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5260.398


Although steroid hormones are important for animal development, the physiological role of plant steroids is unknown. The Arabidopsis DET2 gene encodes a protein that shares significant sequence identity with mammalian steroid 5α-reductases. A mutation of glutamate 204, which is absolutely required for the activity of human steroid reductase, abolishes the in vivo activity of DET2 and leads to defects in light-regulated development that can be ameliorated by application of a plant steroid, brassinolide. Thus, DET2 may encode a reductase in the brassinolide biosynthetic pathway, and brassinosteroids may constitute a distinct class of phytohormones with an important role in light-regulated development of higher plants.

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