Determination of steady-state mRNA levels of individual chlorophyll a/b binding protein genes of the tomato cab gene family

Birgit Piechulla, Jan Wolfhard Kellmann, Eran Pichersky, Egbert Schwartz, Hans Heinrich Förster

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37 Scopus citations


The steady-state levels of mRNA produced by 14 genes encoding members of the tomtato chlorophyll a/b binding protein family were quantified. All genes were found to be expressed in leaf tissue, but the mRNAs accumulated to significantly different levels. The transcripts of cab 1A, cab 1B, cab 3A and cab 3B, encoding the Type I LHC proteins of photosystem II, are abundant, while low levels were measured for mRNAs encoding the Type II LHC II and the LHC I proteins. Sequences from the 5′ upstream regions (-400 to translational start) of some cab genes were determined in this study, and a total of 16 tomato cab gene promoters for which sequences are now available were analyzed. Significant sequence conservation was found for those genes which are tandemly linked on the chromosome. However, the level of sequence conservation is different for the different cab subfamilies, e.g. 85% similarity between cab 1A and cab 1D vs. 45% sequence similarity between cab 3A and cab 3C upstream sequences. Characteristic GATA repeats with a conserved spacing were found in 5′ upstream sequences of cab 1AD, cab 3 A-C, cab 11 and cab 12. The consensus sequence CCTTATCAT, which is believed to mediate light responsiveness, was found at different locations in the upstream sequences of cab 6B, cab 7, cab 8, cab 9, cab 10A, cab 10B and cab 11. In 11 out of 15 genes the transcription initiation site was found to center on the triplet TCA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalMGG Molecular & General Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1991


  • Chlorophyll a/b binding proteins
  • Gene family
  • Promoter analysis
  • Tomato
  • mRNA accumulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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