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Plant Mol Biol. 2006 Mar;60(4):583-97.

Expression analysis of the AtMLO gene family encoding plant-specific seven-transmembrane domain proteins.

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Department of Biology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) genome contains 15 genes encoding protein homologs of the barley mildew resistance locus o (MLO) protein biochemically shown to have a seven-transmembrane domain topology and localize to the plasma membrane. Towards elucidating the functions of MLOs, the largest family of seven-transmembrane domain proteins specific to plants, we comprehensively determined AtMLO gene expression patterns by a combination of experimental and in silico studies. Experimentation comprised analyses of transgenic Arabidopsis lines bearing promoter::Beta-glucuronidase (GUS) transcriptional fusions as well as semi-quantitative determination of transcripts by reverse transcription coupled to polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). These results were combined with information extracted from public gene profiling databases, and compared to the expression patterns of genes encoding the heterotrimeric G-protein subunits. We found that each AtMLO gene has a unique expression pattern and is regulated differently by a variety of biotic and/or abiotic stimuli, suggesting that AtMLO proteins function in diverse developmental and response processes. The expression of several phylogenetically closely-related AtMLO genes showed similar or overlapping tissue specificity and analogous responsiveness to external stimuli, suggesting functional redundancy, co-function, or antagonistic function(s).

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