Asymmetric redundancy of ZERZAUST and ZERZAUST HOMOLOG in different accessions of arabidopsis thaliana

Prasad Vaddepalli, Lynette Fulton, Kay Schneitz

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5 Scopus citations


Divergence among duplicate genes is one of the important sources of evolutionary innovation. But, the contribution of duplicate divergence to variation in Arabidopsis accessions is sparsely known. Recently, we studied the role of a cell wall localized protein, ZERZAUST (ZET), in Landsberg erecta (Ler) accession, lack of which results in aberrant plant morphology. Here, we present the study of ZET in Columbia (Col) accession, which not only showed differential expression patterns in comparison to Ler, but also revealed its close homolog, ZERZAUST HOMOLOG (ZETH). Although, genetic analysis implied redundancy, expression analysis revealed divergence, with ZETH showing minimal expression in both Col and Ler. In addition, ZETH shows relatively higher expression levels in Col compared to Ler. Our data also reveal compensatory up-regulation of ZETH in Col, but not in Ler, implying it is perhaps dispensable in Ler. However, a novel CRISPR/Cas9-induced zeth allele confirmed that ZETH has residual activity in Ler. Finally, the synergistic interaction of the receptor-like kinase gene, ERECTA with ZET in ameliorating morphological defects suggests crucial role of modifiers on plant phenotype. The results provide genetic evidence for accession-specific differences in compensation mechanism and asymmetric gene contribution. Thus, our work reveals a novel example for how weakly expressed homologs contribute to diversity among accessions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2245-2252
Number of pages8
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Arabidopsis accessions genetic
  • Redundancy asymmetric gene


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