, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 231-240
Date: 21 Feb 2006

Characterization of an anther- and tapetum-specific gene and its highly specific promoter isolated from tomato

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A full-length genomic clone of 2,233 bp long containing an anther- and tapetum-specific gene TomA108 was isolated and characterized from tomato. The gene was present in one copy per haploid genome. The isolated clone contained 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions of 810 and 170 nucleotides, respectively and a single intron with highly repetitive sequences. The cDNA encoded the protein with an apparent mass of 10.6 kDa and a pI (isoelectric point) of 5.3. It was cysteine-rich and had an N-terminal hydrophobic domain with characteristics of a secretory signal. Amino acid sequence comparisons demonstrated that the protein was closely related to a family of cereal seed storage proteins and protease inhibitors. The fusion of β-glucuronidase to the TomA108 promoter demonstrated that the promoter was highly active from early-meiosis to free microspores production in tapetum of tobacco. This strong and highly specific promoter can be potentially used to generate male sterility for efficient production of plant hybrids.

Communicated by Y. Lu
An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00299-009-0682-6.