Large-scale single-pass sequencing of cDNAs from different plants has provided an extensive reservoir for the cloning of genes, the evaluation of tissue-specific gene expression, markers for map-based cloning, and the annotation of genomic sequences. Although as of January 2000 GenBank contained over 220,000 entries of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from plants, most publicly available plant ESTs are derived from vegetative tissues and relatively few ESTs are specifically derived from developing seeds. However, important morphogenetic processes are exclusively associated with seed and embryo development and the metabolism of seeds is tailored toward the accumulation of economically valuable storage compounds such as oil. Here we describe a new set of ESTs from Arabidopsis, which has been derived from 5- to 13-d-old immature seeds. Close to 28,000 cDNAs have been screened by DNA/DNA hybridization and approximately 10,500 new Arabidopsis ESTs have been generated and analyzed using different bioinformatics tools. Approximately 40% of the ESTs currently have no match in dbEST, suggesting many represent mRNAs derived from genes that are specifically expressed in seeds. Although these data can be mined with many different biological questions in mind, this study emphasizes the import of photosynthate into developing embryos, its conversion into seed oil, and the regulation of this pathway.
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