Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Mercuric-ion-induced gene expression was studied in Arabidopsis thaliana Columbia wild type. Rosettes of plants grown for 21 d on agar medium supplemented with 20, 30 and 40 µm HgCl2 were pooled and used to isolate cDNAs of induced genes by suppression subtractive hybridization. Of the 576 clones isolated initially, 31 turned out to be mercury-induced by Northern hybridization. However, kinetic studies using cDNA arrays clearly showed that seven genes were exclusively mercuric-ion-induced, 14 were induced by mercury but also affected by a diurnal rhythm, and 10 clones were only modulated by the day–night cycle. The expression levels of the metal-induced genes increased from 1·5-fold to 10-fold. Functional classification resulted in genes encoding proteins for the photosynthetic apparatus and for the antioxidative system. In addition, unexpected genes, whose connection to mercury ion stress is not evident, were identified.
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