A cDNA clone encoding alanine aminotransferase (AlaAT) has isolated from randomly sequenced clones derived from a cDNA library of maturing rice seeds by comparison to previously identified genes. The deduced amino acid sequence was 88% and 91% homologous to those of the enzymes from barley and broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), respectively. Using this cDNA as a probe, we isolated and sequenced the corresponding genomic clone. Comparison of the sequences of the cDNA and the genomic gene revealed that the coding region of the gene was interrupted by 14 introns 66 to 1547 bp long. Northern and western blotting analyses showed that the gene was expressed at high levels in developing seeds. When the 5′-flanking region between −930 and +85 from the site of initiation of transcription was fused to a reporter gene for β-glucuronidase (GUS) and then introduced into the rice genome, histochemical staining revealed strong GUS activity in the inner endosperm tissue of developing seeds and weak activity in root tips. Similar tissue-specific expression was also detected by in situ hybridization. These results suggest that AlaAT is involved in nitrogen metabolism during the maturation of rice seed.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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