BRANCHLESS TRICHOMES links cell shape and cell cycle control in Arabidopsis trichomes

Remmy Kasili, Cho Chun Huang, Jason D. Walker, L. Alice Simmons, Jing Zhou, Chris Faulk, Martin Hülskamp, John C. Larkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Endoreplication, also called endoreduplication, is a modified cell cycle in which DNA is repeatedly replicated without subsequent cell division. Endoreplication is often associated with increased cell size and specialized cell shapes, but the mechanism coordinating DNA content with shape and size remains obscure. Here we identify the product of the BRANCHLESS TRICHOMES (BLT) gene, a protein of hitherto unknown function that has been conserved throughout angiosperm evolution, as a link in coordinating cell shape and nuclear DNA content in endoreplicated Arabidopsis trichomes. Loss-of-function mutations in BLT were found to enhance the multicellular trichome phenotype of mutants in the SIAMESE (SIM) gene, which encodes a repressor of endoreplication. Epistasis and overexpression experiments revealed that BLT encodes a key regulator of trichome branching. Additional experiments showed that BLT interacts both genetically and physically with STICHEL, another key regulator of trichome branching. Although blt mutants have normal trichome DNA content, overexpression of BLT results in an additional round of endoreplication, and blt mutants uncouple DNA content from morphogenesis in mutants with increased trichome branching, further emphasizing its role in linking cell shape and endoreplication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2379-2388
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011


  • Arabidopsis
  • Cell cycle
  • Endoreduplication
  • Endoreplication
  • Trichome


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