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Planta. 2006 Apr;223(5):998-1009. Epub 2005 Nov 24.

Development- and tissue-specific expression of the RpoT gene family of Arabidopsis encoding mitochondrial and plastid RNA polymerases.

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Institute of Biology, Genetics, Humboldt University Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany.


Arabidopsis thaliana possesses three RpoT genes which encode three different phage-type RNA polymerases with yet unknown function in organelle transcription: RpoTm and RpoTp, imported into mitochondria and plastids, respectively, and RpoTmp, co-targeted into both organelles. Expression of the RpoT genes was analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR, histochemical beta-glucuronidase (GUS) assays and in situ hybridization. Transcripts of all three RpoT genes accumulated to very low amounts in all organs. Surprisingly, RT-PCR revealed their highest levels in flower tissues. RpoTm transcripts were the most abundant in all organs, except mature leaves, in which RpoTp transcripts showed the highest accumulation. In the developing seedling, RpoTm::GUS and RpoTmp::GUS expression precedes that of RpoTp::GUS, the latter showing up only 7 days after germination. The RpoTm and RpoTmp promoters expressed GUS mainly in meristematic and mitochondria-rich cells such as the distal part of the root and companion cells flanking the phloem, whereas RpoTp::GUS activity was found in green tissues as the parenchyme cells of young leaves, the primary cortex of the stem, and sepals of buds and young flowers. Sites of GUS expression coincided spatially with those of in situ hybridization. Our data demonstrate an overlapping expression pattern of RpoTm and RpoTmp, and a completely differing pattern of RpoTp expression. The results suggest that RpoTm and RpoTmp recognize different types of mitochondrial promoters. The plastid polymerase RpoTp might play a major role in green tissue, i.e. in chloroplast transcription, whilst the dual-targeted RpoTmp in plastids should function mainly in the transcription of genes in non-green types.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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