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Biological Sciences


Previously, we identified a peptide transport gene, AtPTRZ-B, from Arabidopsis thaliana that was constitutively expressed in all plant organs, suggesting an important physiological role in plant growth and development. To evaluate the function of this transporter, transgenic Arabidopsis plants were constructed expressing antisense or sense AtPTRZ-B. Genomic Southern analysis indicated that four independent antisense and three independent sense AtPTRZ-B transgenic lines were obtained, which was confirmed by analysis of the segregation of the kanamycin resistance gene carried on the T-DNA. RNA blot data showed that the endogenous AtPJRZ-B mRNA levels were significantly reduced in transgenic leaves and flowers, but not in transgenic roots. Consistent with this reduction in endogenous AtPTRZ-B mRNA levels, all four antisense lines and one sense line exhibited significant phenotypic changes, including late flowering and arrested seed development. These phenotypic changes could be explained by a defect in nitrogen nutrition due to the reduced peptide transport activity conferred by AtPTR2-B. These results suggest that AtPTRZ-B may play a general role in plant nutrition. The AtPTR2-B gene was mapped to chromosome 2, which is closely linked to the restriction fragment length polymorphism marker m246.

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