Arabidopsis ABCG transporters, which are required for export of diverse cuticular lipids, dimerize in different combinations.
ABCG11/WBC11, an ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter from Arabidopsis thaliana, is a key component of the export pathway for cuticular lipids. Arabidopsis wbc11 T-DNA insertional knock-out mutants exhibited lipidic inclusions inside epidermal cells similar to the previously characterized wax transporter mutant cer5, with a similar strong reduction in the alkanes of surface waxes. Moreover, the wbc11 knock-out mutants also showed defects not present in cer5, including post-genital organ fusions, stunted growth and a reduction in cutin load on the plant surface. A mutant line previously isolated in a forward genetics screen, called permeable leaves 1 (pel1), was identified as an allele of ABCG11/WBC11. The double knock-out wbc11 cer5 exhibited the same morphological and biochemical phenotypes as the wbc11 knock-out. A YFP-WBC11 fusion protein rescued a T-DNA knock-out mutant and was localized to the plasma membrane. These results show that WBC11 functions in secretion of surface waxes, possibly by interacting with CER5. However, unlike ABCG12/CER5, ABCG11/WBC11 is important to the normal process of cutin formation.