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Plant Cell. 1997 Oct;9(10):1713-25.

Promoter trap markers differentiate structural and positional components of polar development in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Durham, United Kingdom.


To investigate mechanisms involved in establishing polar organization in Arabidopsis embryos and seedlings, we used promoter trapping to identify molecular markers (beta-glucuronidase fusion genes) expressed in spatially restricted patterns along the apical-basal axis. Three markers were identified that are expressed, respectively, in the embryonic and seedling root tip (POLARIS), cotyledons and shoot and root apices (EXORDIUM), and root cap (COLUMELLA). Each marker was crossed into the mutants hydra and emb30, which are defective in embryonic and seedling morphogenesis. All three markers were expressed in hydra mutants in patterns similar to those observed in phenotypically wild-type embryos and seedlings. In emb30 mutants, the EXORDIUM marker was expressed in cotyledons but not in the expected position of shoot and root meristems, and the marker COLUMELLA was not expressed at all, which is consistent with the view that the emb30 mutant, but not hydra, lacks shoot and root meristems. However, POLARIS was expressed in the basal part of hydra embryos lacking an embryonic root and in the basal parts of both hydra and emb30 seedlings. Expression of POLARIS is inducible by exogenous auxin and suppressed by cytokinin but is unaffected by inhibitors of polar auxin transport or cell division. We conclude that POLARIS differentiates positional aspects of polar development from structural aspects.

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