Early fruit development in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) proceeds in two distinct phases of growth that comprise cell division and cell expansion, respectively. In pericarp and the jelly like locular tissue of tomato fruit, the transition between cell division to cell expansion is characterized by the arrest of mitotic activity, numerous rounds of nuclear DNA endoreduplication and the inhibition of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase A (CDKA) activity. To investigate whether the WEE1 kinase may play a role during the endoreduplication process, we isolated and characterized the tomato homologue for WEE1. The LeWEE1 gene consisted of 10 exons with a predicted 510 amino acid-long protein. The accumulation of the corresponding transcripts was associated with mitotically active organs: developing fruits, seeds and roots. Interestingly, LeWEE1was expressed in the jelly like locular tissue concomitant with endoreduplication during fruit development. Using tobacco BY-2 synchronized cells, we showed that the WEE1 gene expression is cell-cycle regulated with a maximum transcript accumulation at S phase. Our data indicate the putative dual contribution of LeWEE1 in the classical cell cycle and the endocycle.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 7, 2005
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