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EMBO J. 1986 Sep;5(9):2063-2071.

Expression dynamics of the pea rbcS multigene family and organ distribution of the transcripts.

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Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021-6399, USA.


We have determined the nucleotide sequence of two members (rbcS-3A and -3C) of the pea nuclear gene family encoding the small subunit (rbcS) of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase. Both rbcS-3A and -3C are interrupted by two introns located at the same positions as those of the other three pea rbcS genes. Compared with the other pea rbcS genes the rbcS-3C gene has the most divergent 5'- and 3'-flanking sequences while the rbcS-3A gene has a larger and highly divergent intron 1. All five pea rbcS genes are conserved in their coding regions but show considerable sequence differences in their 3'-untranslated portion. The 3' sequence divergence of the rbcS genes has allowed us to use S1 nuclease mapping procedures to compare their expression levels in different organs and during light induction. All the rbcS genes are differentially expressed in various organs of the pea plants; moreover, specific rbcS transcripts are under-represented in seeds and petals. In leaves there is a 10-fold difference between the highest and lowest specific rbcS transcript levels. By quantitating the distribution of rbcS transcripts during light, phytochrome and blue light induction of immature (etiolated), and mature (green), pea leaves, we show that the genes are differentially activated during leaf development.


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