Gibberellin regulates Arabidopsis floral development via suppression of DELLA protein function.
The phytohormone gibberellin (GA) regulates the development and fertility of Arabidopsis flowers. The mature flowers of GA-deficient mutant plants typically exhibit reduced elongation growth of petals and stamens. In addition, GA-deficiency blocks anther development, resulting in male sterility. Previous analyses have shown that GA promotes the elongation of plant organs by opposing the function of the DELLA proteins, a family of nuclear growth repressors. However, it was not clear that the DELLA proteins are involved in the GA-regulation of stamen and anther development. We show that GA regulates cell elongation rather than cell division during Arabidopsis stamen filament elongation. In addition, GA regulates the cellular developmental pathway of anthers leading from microspore to mature pollen grain. Genetic analysis shows that the Arabidopsis DELLA proteins RGA and RGL2 jointly repress petal, stamen and anther development in GA-deficient plants, and that this function is enhanced by RGL1 activity. GA thus promotes Arabidopsis petal, stamen and anther development by opposing the function of the DELLA proteins RGA, RGL1 and RGL2.