The β-tubulin gene family of Arabidopsis thaliana: preferential accumulation of the β1 transcript in roots

David G. Oppenheimer, Nancy Haas, Carolyn D. Silflow, D. Peter Snustad

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71 Scopus citations


The genome of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. was shown to contain a β-tubulin gene family consisting of at least seven distinct genes and/or pseudogenes. Genomic clones of five different β-tubulin genes and/or pseudogenes have been isolated and partially characterized. The complete nucleotide sequence of one A. thaliana β-tubulin gene, designated β1, has been determined. A comparison of the predicted amino acid sequence of the A. thaliana β1-tubulin with the predicted sequences of β-tubulins of animals and protists indicated that this plant β-tubulin shows a high degree of homology with other β-tubulins. However, the β1-tubulin contains a novel single amino acid insertion at position 41. The A. thaliana β1-tubulin gene is transcribed, as shown by RNA blot hybridization and S1 nuclease analyses. A 3'-noncoding gene-specific probe was used to examine the expression of the β1-tubulin gene in leaves, roots, and flowers by blot hybridization analyses of total RNA isolated from these tissues. The results showed that the transcript of the β1 gene accumulates predominantly in roots, with low levels of transcript in flowers, and barely detectable levels of transcript in leaves. A second genomic clone was shown to contain two essentially identical β-tubulin coding sequences in direct tandem orientation and separated by 1 kb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-102
Number of pages16
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 1988

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefullya cknowledgteh ea ssistancoef Elliot M. Meyerowitza ndC arenC hangw ho providedt he A. thal~anag enomicl ibrary and the A. th~i~ffnãd h clone,r espectivelyu,s edi n this work. We also grate- fully acknowledgeP .J. Hussey, C.W. Lloyd and K. Gull; J.F. Harper and W. Mages; and R. Pruitt and E.M. Meyerowitzf or sharingin formationo n carrot fi-tubulin isoforms, Volvox carteri P-tubulin gene structurea, ndA r~b~~o~sisse eds toragep roteing ene arrangementr,e spectivelyT. his researchw as supported by USDA Biotechnology Competitive Research Grant 85CRCR-l-1754. D.G.O. was supportedb y a Universityo f MinnesotaG raduate School Doctoral DissertationF ellowship.T he Sun Microsystems 2/120 Computer and the Intelli-Genetics softwareu sed in this work were made availableb y the Universityo f MinnesotaM olecular Biology ComputerF acility.


  • Recombinant DNA
  • gene structure
  • organ-specific gene expression
  • protein homologies


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