Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The epidermis of Arabidopsis wild-type primary roots, in which some cells grow hairs and others remain hairless in a position-dependent manner, has become an established model system to study cell differentiation. Here we present a molecular analysis of the RHL1 (ROOT HAIRLESS 1) gene that, if mutated, prevents the formation of hairs on primary roots and causes a seedling lethal phenotype. We have cloned the RHL1 gene by use of a T-DNA-tagged mutant and found that it encodes a protein that appears to be plant specific. The predicted RHL1 gene product is a small hydrophilic protein (38.9 kD) containing putative nuclear localization signals and shows no significant homology to any known amino acid sequence. We demonstrate that a 78-amino-acid sequence at its amino terminus is capable of directing an RHL1-GFP fusion protein to the nucleus. The RHL1 transcript is present throughout the wild-type plant and in suspension culture cells, but in very low amounts, suggesting a regulatory function for the RHL1 protein. Structural evidence suggests a role for the RHL1 gene product in the nucleolus. We have examined the genetic relationship between RHL1 and GL2, an inhibitor of root hair initiation in non-hair cells. Our molecular and genetic data with double mutants, together with the expression analysis of a GL2 promoter-GUS reporter gene construct, indicate that the RHL1 gene acts independently of GL2.


Journal article


Genes Dev

Publication Date





2013 - 2021


Amino Acid Sequence, Arabidopsis, Arabidopsis Proteins, Base Sequence, Cloning, Molecular, Genes, Plant, Homeodomain Proteins, Molecular Sequence Data, Nuclear Proteins, Plant Proteins, Plant Roots, Sequence Analysis, Subcellular Fractions, Transcription, Genetic