Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a monoecious plant that serves as a model for the study of floral sex determination. The genetic background, hormonal and environmental factors regulating unisexual flower development are well characterized, however, the molecular mechanisms are less well understood. To isolate genes involved in male and female flower development we conducted a differential cDNA-Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism analysis using plant growth apices of predominantly male (monoecious) and female (gynoecious) near isogenic cucumber lines. The plant apices of monoecious cucumbers carry bisexual and unisexual male floral buds while gynoecious ones carry bisexual and unisexual female floral buds. We isolated a cDNA fragment that encodes a putative GTP binding tyrosine phosphorylated protein A (CsTypA1) that is developmentally regulated. CsTypA1 is expressed in stamen primordia and its transcript is more abundant in monoecious plant apices implying a role for CsTypA1 in the early stages of male reproductive organ development. At later stages of flower development a higher transcript level is observed in female flowers in stigmatic papilla, nectary and in particular ovule/ovary tissue. The differential expression of CsTypA1 during male and female flower development indicates a role for CsTypA1 in female flower development, in particular that of the ovary/ovule. Thus, CsTypA1 might have a dual role, one in the early stages of flower development, possibly during sex determination, and the other in the development of the ovary/ovule. This is the first report of a gene encoding a putative TypA in the plant kingdom that is differentially expressed during plant development.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 9, 2007
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