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Structure and expression of cDNAs encoding 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase homologs isolated from excised mung bean hypocotyls

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By screening a mung bean (Vigna radiata L.) hypocotyl cDNA library using a combination of apple (pAE12) and tomato (pTOM13) 1-aminocyclopropane1-carboxylate (ACC)-oxidase cDNAs as probes, putative ACC-oxidase clones were isolated. Based on restriction-enzyme map and DNA-sequencing analyses, they can be divided into two homology classes, represented by pVR-ACO1 and pVR-ACO2. While pVR-ACO1 and pVR-ACO2 exhibit close homology in their coding regions, their 3′-noncoding regions are divergent. pVR-ACO1 is a 1312-bp full-length clone and contains a single open reading frame encoding 317 amino acids (MW = 35.8 kDa), while pVR-ACO2 is 1172 bp long and is a partial cDNA clone encoding 308 amino acids. These two deduced amino-acid sequences share 83% identity, and display considerable sequence conservation (73–86%) to other ACC oxidases from various plant species. Northern blot analyses of RNAs isolated from hypocotyl, leaf, and stem tissues using gene-specific probes indicate that the pVR-ACO1 transcript is present in all parts of the seedling and that the expression in hypocotyls is further increased following excision. The maximum induction of ACC-oxidase transcripts occurred at about 6 h after excision, while the maximum enzyme activity was observed at 24 h. When excised hypocotyls were treated with ethylene a further enhanced level of transcripts was observed. Aminooxyacetic acid, an inhibitor of ACC-synthase activity, and 2,5-norbornadiene, an inhibitor of ethylene action, suppressed the wound-induced accumulation of ACC-oxidase mRNA, while an addition of ethylene in these tissues restored the accumulation of ACC-oxidase mRNA. These results indicate that the wound-induced expression of ACC-oxidase transcripts is mediated through wound-induced ethylene. Furthermore, when intact mung-bean seedlings were treated with exogenous ethylene, a marked increase in the level of ACC-oxidase mRNA was observed. Together, these results indicate that ethylene plays a key role in activating the expression of the ACC-oxidase gene in both intact and excised mung-bean hypocotyls.

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aminooxyacetic acid


methyl jasmonate




polymerase chain reaction


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This work was supported by Grant MCB-9303801 from the National Science Foundation. The GenBank accession numbers for the sequences of pVR-ACO1 and pVR-ACO2 are U06046 and U06047, respectively.

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Kim, W.T., Yang, S.F. Structure and expression of cDNAs encoding 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase homologs isolated from excised mung bean hypocotyls. Planta 194, 223–229 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01101681

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Key words

  • 1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase
  • Ethylene
  • Gene expression
  • Hypocotyl excision
  • Vigna
  • Wounding