Evolution of DELLA function and signaling in land plants

Alexandros Phokas, Juliet C Coates

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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DELLA proteins are master growth regulators that repress responses to a group of plant growth hormones called gibberellins (GAs). Manipulation of DELLA function and signaling was instrumental in the development of high-yielding crop varieties that saved millions from starvation during the "Green Revolution." Despite decades of extensive research, it is still unclear how DELLA function and signaling mechanisms evolved within the land plant lineage. Here, we review current knowledge on DELLA protein function with reference to structure, posttranslational modifications, downstream transcriptional targets, and protein-protein interactions. Furthermore, we discuss older and recent findings regarding the evolution of DELLA signaling within the land plant lineage, with an emphasis on bryophytes, and identify future avenues of research that would enable us to shed more light on the evolution of DELLA signaling. Unraveling how DELLA function and signaling mechanisms have evolved could enable us to engineer better crops in an attempt to contribute to mitigating the effects of global warming and achieving global food security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-154
Number of pages18
JournalEvolution and Development
Issue number3
Early online date11 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Alexandros Phokas was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) grant BB/M01116X/1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Evolution & Development published by Wiley Periodicals LLC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Developmental Biology


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