J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2017, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (9): 629-641.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12572

Special Issue: Sexual Reproductions

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

SNAIL1 is essential for female gametogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana

Lihong Hao1†, Xiaolin Wei1†, Jiulei Zhu1, Jiao Shi1, Jingjing Liu1,2, Hongya Gu1,2, Tomohiko Tsuge3* and Li-Jia Qu1,2*   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory for Protein and Plant Gene Research, Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2National Plant Gene Research Center (Beijing), Beijing 100101, China
    3Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Gokasho Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan
  • Received:2017-05-22 Accepted:2017-08-02 Published:2017-08-04
  • About author:These authors have contributed equally to the manuscript
    **Correspondences: E-mail: Li-Jia Qu (qulj@pku.edu.cn, Dr. Qu is fully responsible for distributions of all materials associated with this article); Tomohiko Tsuge (tsuge@scl.kyoto-u.ac.jp)


Two yeast Brix family members Ssf1 and Ssf2, involved in large ribosomal subunit synthesis, are essential for yeast cell viability and mating efficiency. Their putative homologs exist in the Arabidopsis genome; however, their role in plant development is unknown. Here, we show that Arabidopsis thaliana SNAIL1 (AtSNAIL1), a protein sharing high sequence identity with yeast Ssf1 and Ssf2, is critical to mitosis progression of female gametophyte development. The snail1 homozygous mutant was nonviable and its heterozygous mutant was semi-sterile with shorter siliques. The mutation in SNAIL1 led to absence of female transmission and reduced male transmission. Further phenotypic analysis showed that the synchronic development of female gametophyte in the snail1 heterozygous mutant was greatly impaired and the snail1 pollen tube growth, in vivo, was also compromised. Furthermore, SNAIL1 was a nucleolar-localized protein with a putative role in protein synthesis. Our data suggest that SNAIL1 may function in ribosome biogenesis like Ssf1 and Ssf2 and plays an important role during megagametogenesis in Arabidopsis.

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