The MADS-domain factor AGAMOUS-Like18 promotes somatic embryogenesis

Priyanka Paul, Sanjay Joshi, Ran Tian, Rubens Diogo Junior, Manohar Chakrabarti, Sharyn E. Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


AGAMOUS-Like 18 (AGL18) is a MADS domain transcription factor (TF) that is structurally related to AGL15. Here we show that, like AGL15, AGL18 can promote somatic embryogenesis (SE) when ectopically expressed in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Based on loss-of-function mutants, AGL15 and AGL18 have redundant functions in developmental processes such as SE. To understand the nature of this redundancy, we undertook a number of studies to look at the interaction between these factors. We studied the genome-wide direct targets of AGL18 to characterize its roles at the molecular level using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-SEQ combined with RNA-SEQ. The results demonstrated that AGL18 binds to thousands of sites in the genome. Comparison of ChIP-SEQ data for AGL15 and AGL18 revealed substantial numbers of genes bound by both AGL15 and AGL18, but there were also differences. Gene ontology analysis revealed that target genes were enriched for seed, embryo, and reproductive development as well as hormone and stress responses. The results also demonstrated that AGL15 and AGL18 interact in a complex regulatory loop, where AGL15 inhibited transcript accumulation of AGL18, while AGL18 increased AGL15 transcript accumulation. Co-immunoprecipitation revealed an interaction between AGL18 and AGL15 in somatic embryo tissue. The binding and expression analyses revealed a complex crosstalk and interactions among embryo TFs and their target genes. In addition, our study also revealed that phosphorylation of AGL18 and AGL15 was crucial for the promotion of SE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1617-1631
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (grant no. IOS-1656380 to S.E.P.) and by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, US Department of Agriculture, Hatch project under accession number 1013409.

Publisher Copyright:
© American Society of Plant Biologists 2021. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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