Glutamine synthetase genes of pea encode distinct polypeptides which are differentially expressed in leaves, roots and nodules.

S. V. Tingey, E. L. Walker, Gloria Coruzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We have characterized the distinct polypeptides, primary translation products and mRNAs encoding glutamine synthetase (GS) in the various organs of pea. Western blot analysis of soluble protein has identified five distinct GS polypeptides which are expressed at different relative levels in leaves, roots and nodules of pea. Of the two GS polypeptides in leaves (44 and 38 kd), the 44-kd GS polypeptide is predominant and is localized to the chloroplast stroma. In roots, the predominant GS polypeptide is 38 kd. Upon Rhizobium infection of roots, three 37-kd GS polypeptides increase in abundance in the nodules relative to uninfected roots. cDNA clones encoding three different GS mRNAs have been characterized. Hybrid-select translation has identified three different GS primary translation products (49, 38 and 37 kd). Two cDNA clones (pGS134 and pGS341) are homologous to GS mRNAs most abundant in nodules which encode the 38- and 37-kd GS primary translation products. A third cDNA (pGS197) corresponds to a larger GS mRNA species specific to leaf poly(A) RNA, which encodes a 49-kd putative precursor to the mature chloroplast GS polypeptide. cDNA sequence analysis and Southern blot analysis of pea nuclear DNA identifies at least three genes encoding GS in pea which are related but distinct in structure and in vivo pattern of expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics

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