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Plant Mol Biol. 1991 Apr;16(4):501-13.

A gene showing sequence similarity to pectin esterase is specifically expressed in developing pollen of Brassica napus. Sequences in its 5' flanking region are conserved in other pollen-specific promoters.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Ottawa, Ont., Canada.


Differential screening of a Brassica napus genomic library led to the isolation of the clone named Bp 19 containing a gene which is highly expressed during microspore development. The accumulation of Bp19 mRNA starts in uninucleate microspores, increases during development reaching a peak in the late stages but declines considerably in mature pollen. The nucleotide sequence of the entire coding region and of extended portions of the 5' and 3' flanking regions was determined. Several homologous cDNA clones were also isolated and sequenced. The Bp 19 gene contains a single intron of 137 bp and gives origin to a mRNA of ca. 1.9 kb which codes for a polypeptide of 584 amino acids. Bp 19 protein has an estimated molecular weight of 63 kilodaltons and has a highly hydrophobic amino terminal region which shows features of a signal peptide. The carboxy half of the Bp 19 protein, starting at amino acid 269, has striking sequence similarity to the pectin esterases of tomato and of the plant pathogen Erwinia chrysanthemi. Four short domains are extremely well conserved in all the three proteins and therefore could represent catalytic sites responsible for enzyme activity. Comparison of the 5' flanking region of the Bp 19 gene with the sequence of other pollen-specific promoters revealed the presence of several conserved regions. These short promoter sequences could correspond to regulatory elements responsible for pollen-specific gene expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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