Messenger RNAs from cultures of embryogenic and non-embryogenic alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) genotypes were used to differentially screen a cDNA library prepared from embryogenic cell masses of somatic embryo cultures to identify early-stage embryo transcripts. The three alfalfa somatic embryogenesis-specific transcripts cDNAs (ASET1, ASET2 and ASET3) identified by this screen were enriched in RNA samples from embryogenic tissues of the embryogenic genotype but were absent from petioles or mature embryos of an embryogenic genotype as well from tissue cultures of a nonembryogenic genotype. The ASET clones did not cross-hybridize and showed different patterns of expression in northerns of RNA from various fractions of alfalfa somatic embryo cultures. The ASET clones did not hybridize with the soybean embryogenesis-specific clone (Sbh1) which was shown to be expressed in embryogenic and non-embryogenic alfalfa tissue cultures. Sequencing showed ASET1 to be a partial transcript 595 nucleotides long. ASET2 was a complete transcript of 1193 nucleotides. From a comparison of the predicted open reading frame with the GenBank protein database it was concluded that ASET2 was a novel transcript. The protein predicted by the ASET2 sequence has several potential membrane-spanning domains and a potential phosphorylation site. In addition, the ASET2 cDNA had a long 5′ region that contained two upstream reading frames (URFs) which could potentially code for 30 and 6 amino acid polypeptides.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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