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Plant Cell. 1990 Jul;2(7):673-84.

Chitinase, beta-1,3-glucanase, osmotin, and extensin are expressed in tobacco explants during flower formation.

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  • 1Division of Plant Industry, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Canberra, Australia.


Sequence analysis of five gene families that were isolated from tobacco thin cell layer explants initiating floral development [Meeks-Wagner et al. (1989). Plant Cell 1, 25-35] showed that two encode the pathogenesis-related proteins basic chitinase and basic beta-1,3-glucanase, while a third encodes the cell wall protein extensin, which also accumulates during pathogen attack. Another sequence family encodes the water stress-induced protein osmotin [Singh et al. (1989). Plant Physiol. 90, 1096-1101]. We found that osmotin was also induced by viral infection and wounding and, hence, could be considered a pathogenesis-related protein. These genes, which were highly expressed in explants during de novo flower formation but not in explants forming vegetative shoots [Meeks-Wagner et al. (1989). Plant Cell 1, 25-35], were also regulated developmentally in day-neutral and photoresponsive tobacco plants with high expression levels in the roots and moderate- to low-level expression in other plant organs including flowers. An unidentified gene family, FB7-4, had its highest level of expression in the basal internodes. Our findings indicate that these genes, some of which are conventionally considered to encode pathogen-related proteins, also have a complex association with normal developmental processes, including the floral response, in healthy plants.

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