Characterization of a rice gene family encoding root-specific proteins

Yong Xu, Wallace G. Buchholz, Richard T. DeRose, Timothy C. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Two cDNA clones (RCc2 and RCc3) corresponding to mRNAs highly expressed only in root tissues of rice (Oryza sativa L.) seedlings were characterized. Respectively, they encode polypeptides of 146 (14.5 kDa) and 133 amino acids (13.4 kDa) that share high (<70%) sequence similarity with a polypeptide encoded by a cDNA (ZRP3) encoding an mRNA preferentially expressed in young maize roots. Genomic DNA blot analysis revealed that they are members of a small gene family and RCg2, the gene corresponding to RCc2, was isolated. A 1656 bp 5′-upstream sequence of RCg2 was translationally fused to a β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene and stable introduction of the chimeric construct into rice was confirmed by PCR and genomic DNA blot analyses. Histochemical analysis of transgenic rice plants containing the full-length chimeric gene showed high levels of GUS activity in mature cells and the elongation and maturation zones of primary and secondary roots, and in the root caps, but no GUS activity was detected in root meristematic regions. Surprisingly, high GUS activity was also detected in leaves of the same plants. This raises the possibility that the RCg2 5′-upstream element may not be sufficient for the proper spatial control of root specificity in transgenic rice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-248
Number of pages12
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • monocot gene expression
  • root-specific gene expression
  • transgenic rice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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