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Plant Physiol. 2000 Jul;123(3):1005-14.

Tissue-preferential expression of a rice alpha-tubulin gene, OsTubA1, mediated by the first intron.

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Department of Life Science and National Research Laboratory of Plant Functional Genomics, Division of Molecular and Life Sciences, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 790-784, Republic of Korea.


The genomic clone encoding an alpha-tubulin, OsTubA1, has been isolated from rice (Oryza sativa L.). The gene consists of four exons and three introns. RNA-blot analysis showed that the gene is strongly expressed in actively dividing tissues, including root tips, young leaves, and young flowers. Analysis of chimeric fusions between OsTubA1 and beta-glucuronidase (GUS) revealed that the intron 1 was required for high-level GUS expression in actively dividing tissues, corresponding with normal expression pattern of OsTubA1. Fusion constructs lacking the intron 1 showed more GUS staining in mature tissues rather than young tissues. When the intron 1 was placed at the distal region from 5'-upstream region or at the 3'-untranslated region, no enhancement of GUS expression was observed. Sequential deletions of the OsTubA1 intron 1 brought about a gradual reduction of GUS activity in calli. These results suggest that tissue-preferential expression of the OsTubA1 gene is mediated by the intron 1 and that it may be involved in a mechanism for an efficient RNA splicing that is position dependent.

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