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Plant Biol (Stuttg). 2004 Mar-Apr;6(2):178-83.

Senescence-related gene expression profiles of rosette leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana: leaf age versus plant age.

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Centre of Molecular Biolology of Plants, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.


Senescence is a form of programmed cell death (PCD) which leads to the death of whole organs, e.g., leaves or flowers, and eventually to the death of entire plants. Like all forms of PCD, senescence is a highly regulated and energy consuming process. Senescence parameters, like protein content, chlorophyll content, expression of photosynthesis-associated genes or senescence-associated genes (SAGs), reveal that senescence occurs in old leaves derived from young plants (6 week old) as well as in young leaves derived from older plants (8 week old), indicating that it is governed by the actual age of the leaves. In order to analyse the differential gene expression profiles during leaf senescence, hybridizations of high-density genome arrays were performed with: i) individual leaves within the rosette of a 6-week-old plant and ii) leaves of the same position within the rosette but harvested from plants of different ages, ranging from 5 to 8 weeks. Cluster and genetree analyses, according to the expression pattern revealed that genes which are up-regulated with respect to the age of the entire plant, showed completely different expression profiles with respect to the age of the individual leaves within one rosette. This was observed even though the actual difference in leaf age was approximately the same. This indicates that gene expression appears to be governed by different parameters: i) the age of the individual leaf and ii) the age and developmental stage of the entire plant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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