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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2003

Up, down and up again is a signature global gene expression pattern at the beginning of gymnosperm embryogenesis

van Zyl L, Bozhkov PV, Clapham DH, Sederoff RR, von Arnold S


Somatic embryogenesis of a gymnosperm, Picea abies, represents a sequence of specifically regulated developmental stages including proembryogenic mass (PEM), PEM-to-embryo transition, and early and late embryogeny. Here, we report cDNA array analysis of expression patterns of 373 genes in the beginning of P. abies embryo development. The analysis revealed a group of 107 genes (29% of arrayed cDNAs) which were upregulated upon PEM-to-embryo transition, then downregulated during early embryogeny and finally upregulated again at the beginning of late embryogeny. This major gene expression pattern was abrogated in a developmentally arrested cell line that is unable to pass through the PEM-to-embryo transition. Thirty-five genes (9.4% of arrayed cDNAs) were found to be differentially expressed during normal embryonic pattern formation. Among them, 22 genes (5.9% of arrayed cDNAs) were directly associated with embryo pattern formation and can be considered as marker genes for early stages of P. abies embryogenesis. The majority of the marker genes encode for proteins involved in translation and posttranslational modification. Among them, 18 genes displayed the major expression pattern. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Gene Expression Patterns
2003, Volume: 3, number: 1, pages: 83-91