Asexual reproduction through seeds, or apomixis, is a process that holds much promise for agricultural advances. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying apomixis are currently poorly understood. To identify genes related to female gametophyte development in apomictic ovaries of buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link), Suppression Subtractive Hybridization of ovary cDNA with leaf cDNA was performed. Through macroarray screening of subtracted cDNAs two genes were identified, Pca21 and Pca24, that showed differential expression between apomictic and sexual ovaries. Sequence analysis showed that both Pca21 and Pca24 are novel genes not previously characterized in plants. Pca21 shows homology to two wheat genes that are also expressed during reproductive development. Pca24 has similarity to coiled-coil-helix-coiled-coil-helix (CHCH) domain containing proteins from maize and sugarcane. Northern blot analysis revealed that both of these genes are expressed throughout female gametophyte development in apomictic ovaries. In situ hybridizations localized the transcript of these two genes to the developing embryo sacs in the apomictic ovaries. Based on the expression patterns it was concluded that Pca21 and Pca24 likely play a role during apomictic development in buffelgrass.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 31, 2007
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