The GASA gene family previously identified in Arabidopsis belongs to a wide-spread class of genes found in mono- and dicotyledonous plants, all structurally related to the original GA-regulated GAST1 gene from tomato. They encode small peptides (97 to 112 residues) of unknown function sharing a 60 amino acid conserved C-terminal domain comprising twelve conserved cysteine residues which define a pattern not related to other known cysteine-rich motifs. Northern blot hybridization analysis revealed sequential expression of three genes during flowering, silique development and seed germination. GASA4 transcripts were detected in flower buds. GASA1 transcripts markedly accumulated in siliques, about five days after pollination, and correlated with the peak of GA biosynthesis at this stage of silique development. GASA3 transcripts accumulated at the end of the maturation stage of the silique, and transcripts were still present in dry seeds but degraded rapidly during imbibition. In addition, the GASA4 gene was again actively transcribed after germination and this expression was shown to be dependent on the presence of GAs in GA-deficient mutants. Immunoblot analysis confirmed the presence of the GASA4 gene product in flower buds, seedlings and roots. We focused on the GASA4 gene and characterized its expression. The upstream region (-890 to +128) was fused to the GUS reporter gene. GASA4/GUS expression was detected in transgenic Arabidopsis primarily in all meristematic regions, including vegetative, inflorescence and floral meristems, as well as primary and lateral root tips. In a GA-deficient background (ga1–3), GUS activity in the vegetative meristem was detected only in the presence of supplied GA. In root and flower meristems, basal GUS activity was slightly enhanced by exogenous GA. Interestingly, GA strongly inhibit GUS activity in expanding cotyledons and leaves in ga1–3 mutants supplied with exogenous GAs, as well as in the wild type. The GA-dependent meristem-specific expression pattern suggests that the GASA4 protein plays a role in dividing cells rather than in elongating cells.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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