Transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression in developing barley endosperm

  • Mikael Blom Sørensen
  • Verena Cameron-Mills
  • Anders Brandt


The expression of the genes encoding B-, C-, D- and γ-hordein, protein Z, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and histone H3 has been studied in developing barley endosperms. The levels of the mRNAs encoding hordein and protein Z increase 3- to 4-fold from 8 to 25 days after anthesis and thereafter decrease, whereas the GAPDH and histone H3 mRNAs are constant from 8 to 15 days and then decline. B- and C-hordein mRNAs are 7 to 100 times more abundant than any of the other mRNA species. Analysis of the transcription rate of the genes encoding B-, C- and D-hordein and protein Z in isolated endosperm nuclei revealed that the rate is correlated with their copy number in the genome. A comparison of the steady-state levels of endosperm-specific mRNA species with the in vitro transcription rates of their respective gene families suggests that the high levels of B- and C-hordein mRNAs are the result of post-transcriptional regulation. Mutanthor 2ca, defective in B-hordein synthesis, has a substantial increase in the level of mRNAs coding for C-hordein and GAPDH, whereas the levels of the other mRNAs are unaffected. In mutantlys 3a, which fails to synthesize the major storage polypeptides, the mRNA levels of B-, C- and γ-hordein and protein Z are dramatically reduced. The in vitro transcription activity of the genes encoding B- and C-hordein and protein Z is 50-fold lower inlys 3a nuclei than in the wild type, accounting for the reduced level of mRNAs and storage protein synthesis in this mutant.

Key words

Hordeum vulgare In vitro transcription mRNA levels Mutant Storage proteins 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikael Blom Sørensen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Verena Cameron-Mills
    • 1
  • Anders Brandt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyCarlsberg LaboratoryCopenhagen ValbyDenmark
  2. 2.Institute of GeneticsUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen KDenmark

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