Certain mutants of shoot gravitropism were reported to be ascribed to the SCR and SHR loci in Arabidopsis thaliana. The SCR gene was known to regulate the development of endodermis cells that are responsible for sensing gravity in a shoot. With the aim of elucidating the molecular mechanism for gravitropic responses in pea seedlings, we have isolated a putative pea SCR ortholog from a shoot cDNA library. Analyses of the cDNA clones revealed the structure of a full-length ORF coding for 819 amino acid residues. A remarkable feature of pea SCR protein was the presence of asparagine stretches at the N-terminal transcriptional activation domain, which was distinct from the occurrence of glutamine or alanine stretches in the Arabidopsis or maize SCR. A Northern blot analysis revealed a single 3.2-kb pea SCR transcript in addition to a closely related 2.5-kb transcript. Our in situ hybridization data indicated that pea SCR mRNA accumulated in the shoot apical meristem, leaf primordia and a root single cell layer corresponding to the endodermis. The expression patterns were similar to those reported for A. thaliana and Zea mays, suggesting that SCR may be functionally conserved among plants and involved in the differentiation of the endodermis.
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