Submitted to: Plant Physiology Plant Gene Register Electronic Submission
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The earliest stages of seed development in the cereals are regulated by the genes of the mother plant, but within a few days, enzymes produced by the developing seed itself take over. This is a complex problem, because the genetic makeup of the seed may be different from that of the mother plant, especially in cross-pollinated species. To better understand this control, we looked for genes that were expressed only during early seed development, and specifically in seed tissue. We cloned and characterized one such gene from barley that we named EEA1 for early embryogenesis associated gene no. 1. The DNA sequence of this gene does not match that of any known gene, so we have been unable to assign its function. However, because of its timing and specific tissue location, we suggest that it may be involved with early cell division or with degradation of some of the maternal tissues that surround the developing seed. By gaining greater understanding of seed development processes, we hope to find ways to apply controls that will alter seed content for improved quality.
Technical Abstract: A gene was cloned from a cDNA library from developing seeds of barley cultivar Klages that is specifically expressed in early developing seed tissue. The full length clone was sequenced and contained 1441 nucleotides, with an open reading frame from 58 to 1288. The deduced amino acid sequence did not match any known gene, although two conservative regions of aspartyl protease active site and a cytochrome c family heme-binding site signature sequence were detected. Southern blot analysis showed two or three bands in several barley genotypes. This gene may be a highly regulated early embryogenesis gene, possibly functioning in cell division or maternal tissue degradation.