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Plant Cell Physiol. 2002 Mar;43(3):323-30.

Involvement of the VEP1 gene in vascular strand development in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Division of Molecular Life Sciences, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Hyoja Dong, Kyungbuk, 790-784, Korea.


A dominant mutant line characterized by abnormal leaf venation pattern was isolated from a transgenic Arabidopsis plant pool that was generated with Agrobacterium culture harboring an Arabidopsis antisense cDNA library. In the mutant line, the phenotype was due to antisense suppression of a gene we named VEP1 (Vein Patterning). The predicted amino acid sequence of the gene contained a motif related to the mammalian death domain that is found in the apoptotic machinery. Reduced expression of the VEP1 gene resulted in the reduced complexity of the venation pattern of the cotyledons and foliar leaves, which was mainly due to the reduced number of the minor veins and their incomplete connection. The analysis of mutant embryos indicated that the phenotype was originated, at least in part, from a defect in the procambium patterning. In the mutant, the stem and root were thinner than those in wild type. This phenotype was associated with reduced vascular development. The promoter activity of the VEP1 gene was detected preferentially in the vascular regions. We propose that the death domain-containing protein VEP1 functions as a positive element required for vascular strand development in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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