Lotus japonicus has received increased attention as a potential model legume plant. In order to study gene expression in reproductive organs and to identify genes that play a crucial function in sexual reproduction, we constructed a cDNA library from immature flower buds containing anthers at the stage of developing tapetum cells in L. japonicus, and characterized 919 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) randomly selected from a cDNA library of the immature flower buds. The 919 ESTs analyzed were clustered into 821 non-redundant EST groups. As a result of a database search, 436 groups (53%) out of the 821 groups showed sequence similarity to genes registered in the public database. Out of these 436 groups, 109 groups showed similarity to genes encoding hypothetical proteins whose function had not yet been estimated. Three hundred eighty five groups (47%) showed no significant homology to known sequences and were classified as novel sequences. A comparison of 821 non-redundant EST sequences and EST sequences derived from the whole plant L. japonicus revealed that 474 EST sequences derived from immature flower buds were not found in the EST sequences of the whole plant. In order to confirm the expression pattern of potential reproductive-organ specific EST clones, nine clones, which were not matched to ESTs derived from the whole plant, were selected, and RT-PCR analysis was performed on these clones. As a result of RT-PCR, we found two novel anther specific clones. One clone was homologous to a gene encoding human cleft lip and palate associated transmembrane protein (CLPTM1) like protein, and the other clone did not show a significant similarity to any genes deposited in the public database. These results indicate that ESTs analyzed here represent a valuable resource for finding reproductive-organ specific genes in Lotus japonicus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology