The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 59: 221 - 228 (2015)

Vol 59, Issue 4-5-6

Analysis of AtGUS1 and AtGUS2 in Arabidopsis root apex by a highly sensitive TSA-MISH method

Developmental Expression Pattern | Published: 15 October 2015

Leonardo Bruno*,1, Matteo Ronchini2, Olimpia Gagliardi1, Tamara Corinti2, Adriana Chiappetta1, Paolo Gerola2 and Maria B. Bitonti1

1Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Science, University of Calabria, Laboratory of Plant Biology, Cosenza and 2Department of Teorethical and Applied Sciences, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy


A new highly sensitive whole-mount in situ hybridization method, based on tyramide signal amplification (TSA-MISH) was developed and a combined GFP detection and TSA-MISH procedure was applied for the first time in plants, to precisely define the spatial pattern of AtGUS1 and AtGUS2 expression in the root apex. ?-glucuronidases (GUSs) belonging to the glycosyl hydrolases (GHs) 79 family, are widely distributed in plants, but their functional role has not yet been fully investigated. In the model system Arabidopsis Thaliana, three different AtGUS genes have been identified which encode proteins with putative different fates. Endogenous GUS expression has been detected in different organs and tissues, but the cyto-histological domains of gene expression remain unclear. The results here reported show co-expression of AtGUS1 and AtGUS2 in different functional zones of the root apex (the cap central zone, the root cap meristem, the staminal cell niche and the cortical cell layers of the proximal meristem), while AtGUS2 is exclusively expressed in the cap peripheral layer and in the epidermis in the elongation zone. Interestingly, both genes are not expressed in the stelar portion of the proximal meristem. A spatial (cortex vs. stele) and temporal (proximal meristem vs. transition zone) regulation of AtGUS1 and AtGUS2 expression is therefore active in the root apex. This expression pattern, although globally consistent with the involvement of GUS activity in both cell proliferation and elongation, clearly indicates that AtGUS1 and AtGUS2 could control distinct downstream process depending on the developmental context and the interaction with other players of root growth control. In the future, the newly developed approaches may well be very useful to dissect such interactions.


Arabidopsis thaliana, multiprobe in situ hybridization, GUS, root, tyramide signal amplification (TSA)

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