mendel's peas

Andy Phillips andy.phillips at
Thu Feb 15 12:44:20 EST 1996

Greenberg Jean wrote:
> A colleague of mine has asked me what is known about the molecular basis
> of the various mutants that Mendel worked with.
> Thanks in advance,
> Jean Greenberg
> Assistant Professor
> U. Colorado, Boulder
> greenbej at

Mendel's dwarf mutant of pea, now designated 'le', is deficient in one the later 
enzymes in the gibberellin (GA) biosynthesis pathway. Le is believed to encode 
3-beta-hydroxylase (Ingram et al. 1984, Plants 160: 455-463), which catalyses the 
conversion of GA20 to GA1, the 'active' GA in many plants (to see the structure of 
GA1, see our Web page at GAs act as 
plant growth regulators and are involved throughout the life cycle of the plant, from 
germination through flower induction and bolting (stem elongation) to fruit 

As far as I know, the Le gene has not yet been cloned, although the equivalent gene 
from Arabidopsis, GA4, was recently isolated by T-DNA tagging (Chiang et al. (1995) 
Plant Cell, 7: 195-201).


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