Title : Arabidopsis lox3 lox4 double mutants are male sterile and defective in global proliferative arrest
Fertility and flower development are both controlled in part by jasmonates, fatty acid-derived mediators produced via the activity of 13-lipoxygenases (13-LOXs). The Arabidopsis thaliana Columbia-0 reference genome is predicted to encode four of these enzymes and it is already known that one of these, LOX2, is dispensable for fertility. In this study, the roles of the other three 13-LOXs (LOX3, LOX4 and LOX6) were investigated in single and double mutants. Four independent lox3 lox4 double mutants assembled with different mutated lox3 and lox4 alleles had fully penetrant floral phenotypes, displaying abnormal anther maturation and defective dehiscence. The plants were no longer self-fertile and pollen was not viable. Fertility in the double mutant was restored genetically by complementation with either the LOX3 or the LOX4 cDNAs and biochemically with exogenous jasmonic acid. Furthermore, deficiency in LOX3 and LOX4 causes developmental dysfunctions, compared to wild type; lox3 lox4 double mutants are taller and develop more inflorescence shoots and flowers. Further analysis revealed that developmental arrest in the lox3 lox4 inflorescence occurs with the production of an abnormal carpelloid flower. This distinguishes lox3 lox4 mutants from the wild type where developmentally typical flower buds are the terminal inflorescence structures observed in both the laboratory and in nature. Our studies of lox3 lox4 as well as other jasmonic acid biosynthesis and perception mutants show that this plant hormone is not only required for male fertility but also involved in global proliferative arrest.