MADS-box gene expression in lateral primordia, meristems and differentiated tissues of Arabidopsis thaliana roots
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Although MADS-box genes involved in flower and fruit development have been well characterized, the function of MADS-box genes expressed in vegetative structures has yet to be explored. At least seven members of this family are grouped in clades of genes that are preferentially expressed in roots of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh.. We report here the cloning of the AGL21 MADS-box gene, which belongs to the ANR1 clade, and the mRNA in situ expression patterns of this and two other root MADS-box genes. AGL17 appears to be a lateral root cap marker in the root tip, and towards the elongation zone this gene is expressed in the epidermal cells. AGL21 is highly expressed in lateral root primordia and it has a punctate expression pattern in the primary root meristem. AGL12 also has a punctate expression pattern in the primary root meristem. AGL12 and AGL21 are also expressed in the central cylinder of differentiated roots and both are expressed in developing embryos. This study, combined with previous phylogenetic analyses, indicates that these MADS-box genes may play distinct regulatory roles during root development.
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