Journal Article

Primary Phloem-Specific Expression of a <i>Zinnia elegans</i> Homeobox Gene

Chikako Nishitani, Taku Demura and Hiroo Fukuda

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 42, issue 11, pages 1210-1218
Published in print November 2001 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online November 2001 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Primary Phloem-Specific Expression of a Zinnia elegans Homeobox Gene

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Some plant homeobox genes are expressed specifically in vascular cells and are assumed to function in the differentiation of specific types of vascular cells. However, homeobox genes exhibiting primary phloem-specific expression have not been reported. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of vascular development, we undertook to isolate from Zinnia elegans primary phloem-specific homeobox genes that may function in phloem development. An HD-Zip type homeobox gene, ZeHB3, was isolated. This gene encodes a class I HD-Zip protein, and constitutes a gene subfamily with the Daucus carota gene CHB6, and Arabidopsis thaliana genes Athb-5, Athb-6, and Athb-16. In situ hybridization of 1-, 14- and 50-day-old plants demonstrated that ZeHB3 mRNA accumulation is restricted to a few cells destined to differentiate into phloem cells and to the immature phloem cells surrounding the sieve elements and companion cells. ZeHB3 protein was also localized to immature phloem cells. These findings clearly indicate that ZeHB3 is a novel homeobox gene that marks, and may function in, the early stages of phloem differentiation.

Keywords: Key words: HD-Zip type homeobox gene — Primary phloem — Vascular system — Zinnia elegans.; Abbreviation: RACE, rapid amplification of cDNA ends.

Journal Article.  5807 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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