, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 255-265

Cell cycle regulation during growth-dormancy cycles in pea axillary buds

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Abstract

Accumulation patterns of mRNAs corresponding to histones H2A and H4, ribosomal protein genes rpL27 and rpL34, MAP kinase, cdc2 kinase and cyclin B were analyzed during growth-dormancy cycles in pea (Pisum sativum cv. Alaska) axillary buds. The level of each of these mRNAs was low in dormant buds on intact plants, increased when buds were stimulated to grow by decapitating the terminal bud, decreased when buds ceased growing and became dormant, and then increased when buds began to grow again. Flow cytometry was used to determine nuclear DNA content during these developmental transitions. Dormant buds contain G1 and G2 nuclei (about 3:1 ratio), but only low levels of S phase nuclei. It is hypothesized that cells in dormant buds are arrested at three points in the cell cycle, in mid-G1, at the G1/S boundary and near the S/G2 boundary. Based on the accumulation of histone H2A and H4 mRNAs, which are markers for S phase, cells arrested at the G1/S boundary enter S within one hour of decaptitation. The presence of a cell population arrested in mid-G1 is indicated by a second peak of histone mRNA accumulation 6 h after the first peak. Based on the accumulation of cyclin B mRNA, a marker for late G2 and mitosis, cells arrested at G1/S begin to divide between 12 and 18 h after decapitation. A small increase in the level of cyclin B mRNA at 6 h after decapitation may represent mitosis of the cells that had been arrested near the S/G2 boundary. Accumulation of MAP kinase, cdc2 kinase, rpL27 and rpL34 mRNAs are correlated with cell proliferation but not with a particular phase of the cell cycle.