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Plant J. 1998 Aug;15(3):301-10.

The Arabidopsis ERECTA gene is expressed in the shoot apical meristem and organ primordia.

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Division of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


In Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh, the mutation in ERECTA is known to confer a compact inflorescence by a reduction in the lengths of internodes and pedicels. We analyzed the expression pattern of this gene during plant development. In situ hybridization and histochemical analysis using transgenic plants carrying chimeric gene fusions, with the ERECTA promoter fused to the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) gene, showed that ERECTA was predominantly expressed in the shoot apical meristems and organ primordia. ERECTA expression in the shoot apical meristem was weak early in plant development but increased with the transition from the vegetative to the reproductive growth phase. ERECTA was also strongly expressed in organ primordia and immature organs but weakly in mature organs. Thus, ERECTA was expressed in a cell-specific and developmentally regulated manner. In order to identify the regulatory mechanism responsible for the expression pattern of ERECTA, the cis-acting regions in the ERECTA promoter were defined by study of the expression of the chimeric genes that consist of the 5'- or internal deleted promoter and a GUS reporter gene in transgenic plants. The results showed that the essential cis-regulatory elements governing the spatially and temporally specific expression of ERECTA are located between positions -462 and -228 bp and between positions -228 and -153 bp with respect to the transcriptional initiation site.

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