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DNA Res. 2004 Feb 29;11(1):11-25.

Distinctive features of plant organs characterized by global analysis of gene expression in Arabidopsis.

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Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Yokohama, Kanagawa 226-8501, Japan.


The distinctive features of plant organs are primarily determined by organ-specific gene expression. We analyzed the expression specificity of 8809 genes in 7 organs of Arabidopsis using a cDNA macroarray system. Using relative expression (RE) values between organs, many known and unknown genes specifically expressed in each organ were identified. We also analyzed the organ specificity of various gene groups using the GRE (group relative expression) value, the average of the REs of all genes in a group. Consequently, we found that many gene groups even ribosomal protein genes, have strong organ-specific expression. Clustering of the expression profiles revealed that the 8809 genes were classified into 9 major categories. Although 3451 genes were clustered into the largest category, which showed constitutive gene expression, 266 and 1005 genes were found to be root- and silique-specific genes, respectively. By this clustering, particular gene groups which showed multi-organ-specific expression profiles, such as bud-flower-specific, stem-silique-specific or bud-flower-root-specific profiles, could be effectively identified. From these results, major features of plant organs could be characterized by their distinct profiles of global gene expression. These data of organ-specific gene expression are available at our web site: Arabidopsis thaliana Tissue-Specific Expression Database, ATTED (

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