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Plant Cell Physiol. 2006 Apr;47(4):493-503. Epub 2006 Jan 30.

Isolation and characterization of a novel peroxidase gene ZPO-C whose expression and function are closely associated with lignification during tracheary element differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Ehime University, Matsuyama, 790-8577 Japan.


In an attempt to elucidate the regulatory mechanism of vessel lignification, we isolated ZPO-C, a novel peroxidase gene of Zinnia elegans that is expressed specifically in differentiating tracheary elements (TEs). The ZPO-C transcript was shown to accumulate transiently at the time of secondary wall thickening of TEs in xylogenic culture of Zinnia cells. In situ hybridization indicated specific accumulation of the ZPO-C transcript in immature vessels in Zinnia seedlings. Immunohistochemical analysis using anti-ZPO-C antibody showed that the ZPO-C protein is abundant in TEs, especially at their secondary walls. For enzymatic characterization of ZPO-C, 6 x His-tagged ZPO-C was produced in tobacco cultured cells and purified. The ZPO-C:6 x His protein had a peroxidase activity preferring sinapyl alcohol as well as coniferyl alcohol as a substrate, with a narrow pH optimum around 5.25. The peroxidase activity required calcium ion and was elevated by increasing Ca2+ concentration in the range of 0-10 mM. An Arabidopsis homolog of ZPO-C, At5g51890, was examined for expression patterns with transgenic plants carrying a yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) gene under the control of the At5g51890 promoter. The YFP fluorescence localization demonstrated vessel-specific expression of At5g51890 in the Arabidopsis roots. Taken collectively, our results strongly suggest that ZPO-C and its homologs play an important role in lignification of secondary cell walls in differentiating TEs.

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