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Genes Dev. 1989 Oct;3(10):1639-46.

Specific expression of a novel cell wall hydroxyproline-rich glycoprotein gene in lateral root initiation.

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  • 1Plant Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California 92037.


A gene encoding a novel cell wall hydroxyproline-rich glycoprotein (HRGPnt3) was isolated from a genomic library of tobacco. The deduced protein (620 amino acids, Mr, 65,406) contains an amino-terminal hydrophobic signal peptide, is highly basic, and is rich in proline, although characteristic Ser-Pro4 repeats are found only beyond residue 204. At the carboxyl terminus, there is a 34-amino-acid unit repeated three times. Arginine is the predominant basic amino acid rather than lysine, as in other HRGPs. A second gene homologous to HRGPnt3 was revealed by Southern blot hybridization of tobacco genomic DNA. Northern blot hybridization identified a 1.9-kb transcript present at low levels in roots. To determine the underlying spatial pattern of expression, the HRGPnt3 promoter and the first 27 nucleotides of the open reading frame were fused to the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene and transformed back into tobacco. Histochemical localization of GUS activity showed that the HRGPnt3 promoter was transiently induced in the pericycle and endodermis, specifically in the discrete, small subset of cells involved in the initiation of lateral roots. This pattern of expression, in cells destined to form the tip of the emerging lateral root, indicates that the encoded cell wall protein has a specialized structural function, possibly in the mechanical penetration of the cortex and epidermis of the main root, and that the HRGPnt3 promoter responds to an early morphogenetic signal for lateral root induction.

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