Gene expression patterns were profiled during somatic embryogenesis in a regeneration-proficient maize hybrid line, Hi II, in an effort to identify genes that might be used as developmental markers or targets to optimize regeneration steps for recovering maize plants from tissue culture. Gene expression profiles were generated from embryogenic calli induced to undergo embryo maturation and germination. Over 1,000 genes in the 12,060 element arrays showed significant time variation during somatic embryo development. A substantial number of genes were downregulated during embryo maturation, largely histone and ribosomal protein genes, which may result from a slowdown in cell proliferation and growth during embryo maturation. The expression of these genes dramatically recovered at germination. Other genes up-regulated during embryo maturation included genes encoding hydrolytic enzymes (nucleases, glucosidases and proteases) and a few storage genes (an α-zein and caleosin), which are good candidates for developmental marker genes. Germination is accompanied by the up-regulation of a number of stress response and membrane transporter genes, and, as expected, greening is associated with the up-regulation of many genes encoding photosynthetic and chloroplast components. Thus, some, but not all genes typically associated with zygotic embryogenesis are significantly up or down-regulated during somatic embryogenesis in Hi II maize line regeneration. Although many genes varied in expression throughout somatic embryo development in this study, no statistically significant gene expression changes were detected between total embryogenic callus and callus enriched for transition stage somatic embryos.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 15, 2006
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