Journal Article

A Nuclear Gene for the Iron–Sulfur Subunit of Mitochondrial Complex II is Specifically Expressed During Arabidopsis Seed Development and Germination

Alvaro Elorza, Hannetz Roschzttardtz, Isabel Gómez, Armand Mouras, Loreto Holuigue, Alejandro Araya and Xavier Jordana

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 47, issue 1, pages 14-21
Published in print January 2006 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pci218
A Nuclear Gene for the Iron–Sulfur Subunit of Mitochondrial Complex II is Specifically Expressed During Arabidopsis Seed Development and Germination

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Three nuclear genes, SDH2-1, SDH2-2 and SDH2-3, encode the essential iron–sulfur subunit of mitochondrial complex II in Arabidopsis thaliana. SDH2-1 and SDH2-2 probably arose via a recent duplication event and we reported that both are expressed in all organs from adult plants. In contrast, transcripts from SDH2-3 were not detected. Here we present data demonstrating that SDH2-3 is specifically expressed during seed development. SDH2-3 transcripts appear during seed maturation, persist through desiccation, are abundant in dry seeds and markedly decline during germination. Analysis of transgenic Arabidopsis plants carrying the SDH2-3 promoter fused to the β-glucuronidase reporter gene shows that the SDH2-3 promoter is activated in the embryo during maturation, from the bent-cotyledon stage. β-Glucuronidase expression correlates with the appearance of endogenous SDH2-3 transcripts, suggesting that control of this nuclear gene is achieved through transcriptional regulation. Furthermore, progressive deletions of this promoter identified a 159 bp region (–223 to –65) important for SDH2-3 transcriptional activation in seeds. Interestingly, the SDH2-3 promoter remains active in embryonic tissues during germination and post-germinative growth, and is turned off in vegetative tissues (true leaves). In contrast to SDH2-3 transcripts, SDH2-1 and SDH2-2 transcripts are barely detected in dry seeds and increase during germination and post-germinative growth. The opposite expression patterns of SDH2 nuclear genes strongly suggest that during germination the embryo-specific SDH2-3 is replaced by SDH2-1 or SDH2-2 in mitochondrial complex II.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; Iron–sulfur subunit; Plant mitochondria; Seed-specific expression; Succinate dehydrogenase; Transcriptional regulation; ABRE, abscisic acid-responsive element; DAF, days after flowering; dpi, days post-imbibition; GUS, β-glucuronidase; LEA, late embryogenesis abundant; MUG, 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-d-glucuronide; RACE, rapid amplification of cDNA ends; RT–PCR, reverse transcription–PCR; SDH, succinate dehydrogenase; UTR, untranslated region

Journal Article.  5453 words.  Illustrated.

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

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