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      Characterization of the plant Notchless homolog, a WD repeat protein involved in seed development.

      Plant Molecular Biology

      growth & development, genetics, Solanum, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Sequence Alignment, Seeds, Repetitive Sequences, Amino Acid, Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid, metabolism, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, RNA, Messenger, Promoter Regions, Genetic, physiology, Plant Proteins, Molecular Sequence Data, Microscopy, Electron, Scanning, In Situ Hybridization, Glucuronidase, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Flowers, Fertility, ultrastructure, Drosophila, isolation & purification, chemistry, DNA, Complementary, Animals, Genetically Modified, Animals, Amino Acid Sequence

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          We have isolated a plant NOTCHLESS (NLE) homolog from the wild potato species Solanum chacoense Bitt., encoding a WD-repeat containing protein initially characterized as a negative regulator of the Notch receptor in animals. Although no Notch signaling pathway exists in plants, the NLE gene is conserved in animals, plants, and yeast. Overexpression of the plant ScNLE gene in Drosophila similarly affected bristle formation when compared to the overexpression of the endogenous Drosophila NLE gene, suggesting functional conservation. Expression analyses showed that the ScNLE gene was fertilization-induced and primarily expressed in ovules after fertilization, mainly in the integumentary tapetum (endothelium). Significant expression was also detected in the shoot apex. Promoter deletion analysis revealed that the ScNLE promoter had a complex modulatory architecture with both positive, negative, and tissue specific regulatory elements. Transgenic plants with reduced levels of ScNLE transcripts displayed pleitotropic phenotypes including a severe reduction in seed set, consistent with ScNLE gene expression pattern.

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