J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2021, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (4): 676-694.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13017

Special Issue: Development Genome editing

• Cell and Developmental Biology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Arabidopsis R‐SNARE protein YKT61 is essential for gametophyte development

Ting Ma, En Li, Lu‐Shen Li, Sha Li and Yan Zhang*   

  1. State Key laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an 271018, China

    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondence: Yan Zhang (yzhang@sdau.edu.cn)
  • Received:2020-07-10 Accepted:2020-09-12 Online:2020-09-12 Published:2021-04-01

Abstract: Gametophyte development is a pre‐requisite for plant reproduction and seed yield; therefore, studies of gametophyte development help us understand fundamental biological questions and have potential applications in agriculture. The biogenesis and dynamics of endomembrane compartments are critical for cell survival, and their regulatory mechanisms are just beginning to be revealed. Here, we report that the Arabidopsis thaliana SNARE (soluble N‐ethylmaleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) protein YKT61 is essential for both male and female gametogenesis. By using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR‐associated protein 9 (Cas9)‐based genome editing, we demonstrated that male and female gametophytes carrying YKT61 loss‐of‐function alleles do not survive. Specifically, loss of YKT61 function resulted in the arrest of male gametophytic development at pollen mitosis I and the degeneration of female gametophytes. A three‐base‐pair deletion in YKT61 in the ykt61‐3 mutant resulted in a single‐amino acid deletion in the longin domain of YKT61; the resulting mutant protein does not interact with multiple SNAREs and showed substantially reduced membrane association, suggesting that the N‐terminal longin domain of YKT61 plays multiple roles in its function. This study demonstrates that Arabidopsis YKT61 is essential for male and female gametogenesis and sets an example for functional characterization of essential genes with the combination of Cas9‐mediated editing and expression from a Cas9‐resistant transgene.

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