Knowledge of the genes in gymnosperms encoding the apoproteins of the plant photoreceptor phytochrome is currently scanty as for gymnosperm nuclear protein coding sequences in general. Here we report two complete cDNA-derived sequences which code for two different types of gymnosperm phytochrome. One sequence stems from Norway spruce (Picea abies) and the other from Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). More detailed studies have shown that both types of phytochrome gene are present in Norway spruce. From phylogenetic analyses, these types appear to branch off from progenitors that are also the common ancestors of the angiosperm PHYA/PHYC and PHYB/PHYD/PHYE lineages. Partial phytochrome sequences of other gymnosperms cluster with either the one type or the other of the gymnosperm phytochrome genes characterized here. Southern blot analysis of Picea DNA using probes derived from the full-length Picea gene indicated a family of at least five members. Whether they code for new types may be doubted since only two phylogenetic clusters were found. Studies using RNA-PCR of Picea RNA extracted from either light- or dark-grown seedlings indicated that the steady-state levels of the transcripts of two PHYA/C-related genes were hardly affected by light.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 19, 2004
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