A genomic clone containing the gH2A gene, a histone variant specifically expressed in male gametic cells within the pollen of Lilium longiflorum, was isolated. Sequence analysis revealed that the coding region of the gene is interrupted by one intron, as is the case with the somatic type of plant histone H2A genes, suggesting derivation from the same ancestral gene containing one intron. In addition, a 2.8-kbp fragment of the 5′ upstream region of gH2A contained TATA and CAAT boxes, but neither a plant histone-specific regulatory DNA element nor vegetative cell-specific cis-elements were found. A histochemical study of stable transformants demonstrated that the 5′ upstream region of the gene can drive gene expression specifically in the generative cell of pollen; no activity was detectable in the vegetative cell or in other reproductive and vegetative tissues of transgenic Nicotiana tabacum. These results strongly suggest that the generative cell can direct specific gene expression, that this expression may be regulated by a putative male gametic factor, and that the gH2A promoter may therefore serve as a useful male gametic cell fate marker in angiosperms.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 9, 2005
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