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Molecular analysis of a sunflower gene encoding an homologous of the B subunit of a CAAT binding factor

  • Salvini, Mariangela1, 2
  • Sani, Emanuela3
  • Fambrini, Marco2
  • Pistelli, Laura4
  • Pucciariello, Chiara5
  • Pugliesi, Claudio2
  • 1 Scuola Normale Superiore, Piazza dei Cavalieri 7, Pisa, 56126, Italy , Pisa (Italy)
  • 2 Università di Pisa, Dipartimento di Biologia delle Piante Agrarie, Sezione di Genetica, Via Matteotti 1B, Pisa, 56124, Italy , Pisa (Italy)
  • 3 University of Glasgow, Faculty of Biomedical and Life Sciences, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, UK , Glasgow (United Kingdom)
  • 4 Università di Pisa, Dipartimento di Biologia, Unità di Fisiologia Vegetale, Via Mariscoglio 34, Pisa, 56124, Italy , Pisa (Italy)
  • 5 Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, PlantLab, Institute of Life Sciences, Piazza Martiri della Libertà 33, Pisa, 56127, Italy , Pisa (Italy)
Published Article
Molecular Biology Reports
Publication Date
Feb 23, 2012
DOI: 10.1007/s11033-012-1463-9
Springer Nature


A genomic DNA fragment containing the complete LEAFY COTYLEDON1-LIKE (HaL1L) gene was retrieved by chromosome walking. Its sequence was confirmed and elongated by screening a sunflower genomic DNA BAC Library. HaL1L, whose cDNA had already been sequenced and characterized, encodes a NF-YB subunit of a CCAAT box-binding factor (NF-Y) involved in the early stages of zygotic and somatic embryogenesis in the Helianthus genus. In the HaL1L 5′-flanking region, elements specific to a putative TATA-box promoter and two “CG isles” were identified. An investigation of the methylation status of these CG rich DNA regions showed that differentially methylated cytosines were recognizable in the DNA of embryos on the fifth day after pollination in comparison to leaf DNA suggesting that during plant development epigenetic regulation of HaL1L transcription was achieved by methylating cytosine residues. We also searched the HaL1L nucleotide sequence for cis-regulatory elements able to interact with other transcription factors (TFs) involved in the HaL1L regulation. Of the elements identified, one of the most intriguing is WUSATA, the target sequence for the WUSCHEL (WUS) TF, which may be part of a complex regulation network controlling embryo development. In this article, we show that the WUSATA target site, located in the intron of HaL1L, is able to bind the TF WUS. Interestingly, we found auxin and abscisic acid responsive motifs in the HaL1L promoter region suggesting that this gene may additionally by under hormonal control. Finally, the presence of a cytoplasmic polyadenylation signal downstream to the coding region indicates that this gene may also be controlled at the translation level by a temporarily making the pre-synthesized HaL1L mRNA unavailable for protein synthesis.

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