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Transposon-mediated mutations in the untranslated leader of maize Adh1 that increase and decrease pollen-specific gene expression

Transposon-mediated mutations in the untranslated leader of maize Adh1 that increase and decrease pollen-specific gene expression

Plant Cell 5(3): 311-319

The unstable mutation Adh1-Fm335 contains a Dissociation (Ds1) transposable element at position +53 in the untranslated leader of the maize Alcohol dehydrogenase-1 (Adh1) gene. Excision of Ds1 is known to generate new alleles with small additions and rearrangements of Adh1 DNA. We characterized 16 revertant alleles with respect to ADH1 activity levels in scutellum (nutritive tissue of the seed), anaerobic root, and pollen. Whereas gene expression was not different from the wild type in the sporophytic tissues of the scutellum and anaerobic root, there were strong allelic differences in pollen. One allele underexpressed pollen ADH1 at 48% of the wild-type level, and another overexpressed pollen ADH1 at 163% of the wild-type level. Quantitative RNase protection assays demonstrated that the mutant phenotypes reflected changes in the levels of steady state mRNA in pollen. These data provide a definitive demonstration of an overexpression mutant in plants and further show that marked increases in mRNA levels can follow minor alterations in central untranslated leader sequences. The nucleotide sequence of 12 new revertant alleles and the molecular mechanisms responsible for pollen-specific gene expression are discussed.

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Accession: 002535511

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PMID: 8385517

DOI: 10.1105/tpc.5.3.311

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