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Planta. 2006 Jul;224(2):405-12. Epub 2006 Feb 1.

Characterization and functional analysis of a pollen-specific gene st901 in Solanum tuberosum.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory for Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, No. 2 Yuanmingyuan West Road, 100094, Beijing, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

A pollen-specific gene, sb401, which was isolated from a cDNA library of in vitro geminated pollen of the diploid potato species Solanum berthaultii, belongs to the class of genes expressed late during pollen development. Using sb401 as a probe, a pollen-specific gene st901 was isolated from the genomic library of a potato species Solanum tuberosum cv. Desiree. Sequencing and RT-PCR analysis showed that the st901 genomic gene is 2,889 bp long, contains three exons and two introns, and encodes a putative polypeptide of 217 residues. The predicted protein sequence contains four imperfect repeated motifs of V-V-E-K-K-N/E-E; the core sequence of the repeats (K-K-N/E-E) resembles a microtubule-binding domain of the microtubule-associated protein MAP1B from mouse. The examination of a promoter-reporter construct in transgenic potato plants revealed that the st901 is expressed exclusively in mature pollen grains, which is consistent with the results of Northern blot and RT-PCR. For analysis of the function of st901, transgenic plants harboring antisense copies of st901 cDNA driven by a native st901 promoter were generated. Suppression of st901 gene in potato resulted in aberrant pollen at maturation and pollen viability of transgenic plants ranged from 4.4 to 14.8%, while that of control plants were more than 90%. These results strongly suggest that st901 has an essential role in pollen development.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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