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Plant Cell Physiol. 1999 Oct;40(10):1072-8.

Molecular cloning and expression analysis of a gene for a sucrose transporter in maize (Zea mays L.).

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Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, Ibaraki, Japan.


Here we report the cloning of a sucrose transporter cDNA from maize (Zea mays L.) and an analysis of the expression of the gene. A cDNA clone (ZmSUT1) was identified as a sucrose transporter cDNA from its sequence homology at the amino acid level to sucrose transporters that have been cloned from other higher plant species. Based on the results of genomic Southern hybridization, ZmSUT1 appears to be a single copy gene. A Northern blot analysis of seedlings and leaf blades suggests that the sucrose transporter is involved in the export of accumulated carbohydrates from source leaf blades. From the measurements of transcript levels and carbohydrate contents in mature leaf blades, we propose that the expression of the gene for the maize sucrose transporter is positively regulated by the amounts of soluble sugars such as sucrose and glucose in source leaves of maize. In addition, based on the tissue specificity of the expression of the gene in maize plants at the reproductive stage, it is possible that the sucrose transporter acts in sink tissues such as pedicles as well as in source tissues such as leaf blades.

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