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Journal Article

Transcriptional Programs of Early Reproductive Stages in Arabidopsis

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Hennig, L., Gruissem, W., Grossniklaus, U., & Köhler, C. (2004). Transcriptional Programs of Early Reproductive Stages in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology, 135(3), 1765-1775. doi:10.1104/pp.104.043182.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-EB1D-1
The life cycle of flowering plants alternates between a diploid sporophytic and a haploid gametophytic generation. After fertilization of each the egg and central cells by one male gamete, the development of both fertilization products occurs coordinated with the maternally derived seed coat and carpel tissues forming the fruit. The reproduction program is likely to involve the concerted activity of many genes. To identify genes with specific functions during reproduction, we have analyzed the expression profile of more than 22,000 genes present on the Arabidopsis ATH1 microarray during three stages of flower and fruit development. We found 1,886 genes regulated during reproductive development and 1,043 genes that were specifically expressed during reproduction. When compared to cells from an Arabidopsis suspension culture, S-phase genes were underrepresented and G2 and M-phase genes were strongly enriched in the set of specific genes, indicating that important functions during reproduction are exerted in the G2 and M phases of the cell cycle. Many potential signaling components, such as receptor-like protein kinases, phosphatases, and transcription factors, were present in both groups of genes. Members of the YABBY, MADS box, and Myb transcription factor families were significantly overrepresented in the group of specific genes, revealing an important role of these families during reproduction. Furthermore, we found a significant enrichment of predicted secreted proteins smaller than 15 kD that could function directly as signaling molecules or as precursors for peptide hormones. Our study provides a basis for targeted reverse-genetic approaches aimed to identify key genes of reproductive development in plants.