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Plant Mol Biol. 1999 Jan;39(1):35-44.

Isolation and characterization of an anther-specific gene, RA8, from rice (Oryza sativa L.).

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Department of Life Science, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Korea.


An anther-specific cDNA clone of rice, RA8, was isolated from an anther cDNA library by differential screening. RNA blot analysis indicated that the RA8 transcript is present specifically in anthers and the transcript level increased as flowers matured, reaching the highest level in mature flowers. The RA8 clone contains an open reading frame of 264 amino acid residues with a hydrophobic N-terminal region. The deduced amino acid sequences did not show significant homology to any known sequences. Genomic DNA blot analysis showed that RA8 is a single-copy gene. A genomic clone corresponding to the RA8 cDNA was isolated and its promoter region was fused to the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) gene. Transgenic rice plants exhibited anther-specific expression of the GUS reporter gene. Histochemical GUS analysis showed that the RA8 promoter was active in the tapetum, endothecium, and connective tissues of anthers. Experiments showed that expression of the gene starts when microspores are released from tetrads, and it reaches to the maximum level at the late vacuolated-pollen stage. The RA8 promoter may be useful for controlling gene expression in anthers of cereal plants and for generating male-sterile plants.

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