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Plant Physiol. 2005 Jun;138(2):757-66. Epub 2005 May 20.

Identification of cis-elements that regulate gene expression during initiation of axillary bud outgrowth in Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Plant Science Center, RIKEN, Yokohama, 230-0045, Japan.


Growth regulation associated with dormancy is an essential element in plant life cycles. To reveal regulatory mechanisms of bud outgrowth, we analyzed transcriptomes of axillary shoots before and after main stem decapitation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We searched for any enriched motifs among the upstream regions of up-regulated and down-regulated genes after decapitation. The promoters of down-regulated genes were enriched for TTATCC motifs that resemble the sugar-repressive element, whereas the promoters of up-regulated genes were enriched for GGCCCAWW and AAACCCTA, designated Up1 and Up2, respectively. Transgenic plants harboring a reporter gene driven by a tandem repeat of the elements were produced to analyze their function in vivo. Sugar-repressive element-mediated gene expression was down-regulated by the application of sugars but was unaffected after decapitation. In contrast, expression driven by the repeat containing both Up1 and Up2 was up-regulated after decapitation, although the Up1 or Up2 repeat alone failed to induce reporter gene expression in axillary shoots. In addition, disruption of both Up1 and Up2 elements in a ribosomal protein gene abolished the decapitation-induced expression. Ontological analysis demonstrated that up-regulated genes with Up elements were disproportionately predicted to function in protein synthesis and cell cycle. Up1 is similar to an element known to be a potential target for TCP (TEOSINTE BRANCHED1, CYCLOIDEA, PCFs family) transcription factor(s), which regulate expression of cell cycle-related and ribosomal protein genes. Our data indicate that Up1-mediated transcription of protein synthesis and cell cycle genes is an important regulatory step during the initiation of axillary shoot outgrowth induced by decapitation.

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