The Etched1 gene product of Zea mays contains a zinc ribbon-like domain and is homologous to the eucaryotic transcription elongation factor TFIIS --da Costa e Silva, O1, Garg, P, Wassmann, M, Lorbiecke, R, Lauert, P, Peters, U, Scanlon, M2, Hsia, A-P3, Wienand, U
1BASF Plant Science LLC (Present address)
2University Georgia
3Iowa State University
Etched1 (et1) is a pleiotropic mutation in maize affecting endosperm and seedling development. et1 kernels are fissured and cracked and et1 seedlings appear virescent until approximately two weeks after germination. The etched 1 gene was identified from a Mutator-induced mutant allele using the AIMS (amplification of insertion mutagenized sites; Frey et al., Plant J. 13:717-721, 1998) technique. Several mutant alleles as well as the wild-type allele were cloned and analyzed molecularly. The etched 1 gene is about 3 kb in size and contains 4 exons. Expression analysis revealed transcripts, approximately 800 bp in size, in wild-type endosperm and leaves. The putatively encoded protein is 163 amino acids in length. It contains a zinc ribbon-like domain and shows homology to the eucaryotic transcription elongation factor TFIIS. The mRNA has been localized by in situ experiments in the outer cell layers of the endosperm. Organelle localization experiments revealed that the ETCHED1 protein is transported into the stroma of chloroplasts. From the analyses of the etched 1 gene we conclude that the ETCHED1 protein may be part of a transcription complex involved in plastid development.
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