We report the characterisation of two cytochrome b5 genes and their spatial and temporal patterns of expression during development in olive, Olea europaea. A PCR-generated probe, based on a tobacco cytochrome b5 sequence, was used to isolate two full-length cDNA clones (cytochrome b5-15 and cytochrome b5-38) from a library derived from 13 WAF olive fruits. The cDNAs encoded proteins of 17.0 and 17.7 kDa, which contained all the characteristic motifs of cytochromes b5 from other organisms and exhibited 63% identity and 85% similarity with each other. The olive cytochrome b5-15 cDNA was then used as a probe for more detailed analysis. Southern blotting revealed a gene family of at least 4–6 members while northern blotting and in situ hybridisation showed a highly specific pattern of gene expression. Very low levels of cytochrome b5 mRNA were detected in tissues characterised by high rates of lipid accumulation, such as young expanding leaves, maturing seeds and ripening mesocarp. The cytochrome b5 genes were not induced at 6 °C and their response to ABA was relatively slow compared with fatty acid desaturase genes. In contrast, high levels of cytochrome b5 gene expression were found in young fruits at the pattern formation (globular/heart) stage of embryogenesis and in vascular and transmitting tissues of male and female reproductive organs. The data are consistent with a major role for cytochrome b5 in developmental processes related to plant reproduction in addition to being an electron donor to microsomal desaturases.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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