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Plant Cell Environ. 2008 Jun;31(6):861-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2008.01801.x. Epub 2008 Feb 13.

Investigating glutamate receptor-like gene co-expression in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3EA, UK.


There is increasing evidence of the important roles of glutamate receptors (GLRs) in plant development and in adaptation to stresses. However, the studies of these putative ion channels, both in planta and in Xenopus oocytes, may have been limited by our lack of knowledge of possible GLR heteromer formation in plants. We have developed a modification of the single-cell sampling technique to investigate GLR co-expression, and thus potential heteromer formation, in single cells of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves. Micro-EXpression amplification (MEX) has allowed us to amplify gene transcripts from a single cell, enabling expression of up to 100 gene transcripts to be assayed. We measured, on average, the transcripts of five to six different AtGLRs in a single cell. However, no consistent patterns of co-expression or cell-type-specific expression were detected, except that cells sampled from the same plant showed similar expression profiles. The only discernible feature was the detection of AtGLR3.7 in every cell examined, an observation supported by GUS staining patterns in plants stably expressing promoter::uidA fusions. In addition, we found AtGLR3.7 expression in oocytes induces a Ba2+-, Ca2+- and Na+-permeable plasma membrane conductance.

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