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Plant Mol Biol. 1998 May;37(1):187-92.

A maize pectin methylesterase-like gene, ZmC5, specifically expressed in pollen.

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School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey, UK.


Pectin methylesterase (PME) is responsible for the demethylation of pectin prior to pectin's degradation by the combined activities of polygalacturonase and pectate lyase. We have differentially screened a maize pollen cDNA library to detect cDNA clones whose genes are specifically expressed in pollen. One group of clones resulting from this screen showed similarity (between 18% and 41% identity) with plant and fungal PMEs. The full-length clone from this group, ZmC5, identifies a small gene family (at least 2 members) when used as a probe on genomic Southern blots. Northern analysis reveals that the ZmC5 transcript is expressed specifically in late pollen development. This tissue-specific gene expression programme is further confirmed in transgenic tobacco plants harbouring ZmC5 promoter/GUS chimeric gene constructs.

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