Family C2H2

C2H2 zinc-finger proteins play important roles in plant development including floral organogenesis leaf initiation lateral shoot initiation gametogenesis and seed development. The gene for one such protein from Arabidopsis AtZFP1 (Arabidopsis thaliana zinc-finger protein 1) is expressed at high levels in the shoot apex including the apical meristem developing leaves and the developing vascular system. In light-grown seedlings AtZFP1 expression is induced about three days after germination before the expansion of the true leaves. Dark-grown plants in which photomorphogenesis is repressed have no detectable AtZFP1 expression in the shoot apex. Under conditions which induce or mimic photomorphogenic development including growth in the light shifting dark-grown plants to continuous light or growth on cytokinin in the dark high levels of AtZFP1 expression are detected. Furthermore AtZFP1 expression does not depend on active photosynthesis as shown by analysis of plants grown on the carotenoid biosynthetic inhibitor norflurazon. These results are discussed in relation to a possible role for AtZFP1 in shoot development downstream of photomorphogenic activation.

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