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Plant Cell Rep. 2007 Oct;26(10):1833-8. Epub 2007 Jul 14.

Differential expression pattern of rubber elongation factor (REF) mRNA transcripts from high and low yielding clones of rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.).

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Biotechnology Division, Rubber Research Institute of India, Kottayam 686009, India.


In Hevea tree, rubber elongation factor (REF) is a key gene involved in rubber biosynthesis. Since the immaturity period for Hevea is 6 years, identification of molecular marker for latex yield potential will be beneficial for early selection of high yielding clones. The main objective of this research is to study the expression pattern of the REF gene in contrasting latex yield rubber clones (high and low yielding) by Northern blot as well as RT-PCR analysis. Accumulation of REF mRNA transcripts was significantly higher in latex cells compared to other cells of seedlings and mature Hevea trees. Northern results revealed that the level of REF gene expression in latex cells of high yielding rubber clones was significantly higher than in low yielders. According to RT-PCR results, the abundance of REF mRNA transcripts in latex cells was fivefold higher in the RRII105 clone, one of the most high yielding rubber clones. It is evident from the results that both tapping and ethephon treatment had a direct effect on induction of REF gene expression. Results demonstrate a positive correlation between REF gene expression pattern and latex yield.

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