The plant hormone auxin transcriptionally activates Aux/IAA genes. We have isolated three Aux/IAA cDNA from cucumber, two cDNAs (CS-IAA1 and CS-IAA2) containing the complete open reading frame (ORF), and one partial cDNA (CS-IAA3). Northern blotting analysis showed that Aux/IAA mRNAs were induced during the emergence of radicles from seed coats. After radicle emergence, their mRNAs accumulated in the basal part of the hypocotyl much more than in the apical part, and later in elongating region of hypocotyls. CS-IAA1 and CS-IAA3 mRNA significantly accumulated in response to auxin, although the increment of the former mRNA accumulation by auxin application was much greater than that of the latter. CS-IAA2 did not show an apparent change by auxin treatment in our experiment. In horizontally germinating seedlings, the transition zone between hypocotyl and root curves was due to downward gravitropic growth. On the other hand, vertically germinating seedlings of cucumber do not curve in the early stage of seedling development. The CS-IAA1 mRNA accumulation in horizontally germinating seedlings was more than that in vertically germinating ones during radicle emergence. Furthermore, asymmetric distribution of CS-IAA1 mRNA was detected in the transition zone in in situ hybridization analysis. These results suggest that the CS-IAA1 gene product may be involved in the gravity response during early development of seedlings.
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