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As. Pac. J. Mol. Biol. & Biotech., June 2006 Vol. 14, 19-26

Isolation and characterization of a novel pistil predominant gene that binds weakly to the chitinase, Chi2;1 promoter of tomato

Pick Kuen Chan1*, Hirzun Mohd Yusuf2, Clemente Michael Wong Vui Ling3 and Harikrishna Kulaveerasingam2

1Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Food Science and Biotechnology,
Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
2Sime Darby Technology Centre, 2 Jalan Tandang, 45060, Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
3Biotechnology Research Institute, Universiti Malaysia Sabah,
88999 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

*Author for Correspondence.
Australia Research Council,
Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research,
The University of Queensland,
4072 Brisbane, Australia.
Tel: +61 7 3365 4436
Fax: +61 7 3365 3556
Email: p.chan1@uq.edu.au

A gene LN2-1-1 identified by screening a tomato pistil cDNA library has been found to encode a basic protein containing ankryin repeats. This clone was isolated by its binding ability to a specific DNA fragment in the tomato floral chitinase promoter using a yeast one hybrid system. An analysis of the temporal and spatial patterns of gene expression through northern blotting has demonstrated the highest level of expression in mature tomato pistils. In situ hybridization revealed that the mRNA was maximal on the upper half of the style and decreased in a gradient from the top to the lower half of the style. Hybridization was also detected on the stigma, ovules and ovary walls. The LN2-1-1 could possibly play a role in modulating the defense mechanism of tomato flowers based on its ability to bind to the chitinase, Chi 2;1 promoter.

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