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Isolation of a partial sequence of a putative nucleotide sugar epimerase, which may involve in stamen development in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.)

Terefe, D., Tatlioglu, T.
Theoretical and applied genetics 2005 v.111 no.7 pp. 1300-1307
Cucumis sativus, cucumbers, stamens, plant development, flowering, isomerases, complementary DNA, nucleotide sequences, male flowers, female flowers, gene expression, messenger RNA
Sex determination is the most widely studied subject in cucumber. The sex of cucumber plants can be monoecious, hermaphrodite, gynoecious, androecious, or andromonoecious. Besides environmental factors, three major genes, F/f, M/m, and A/a mainly govern the sex types in cucumber. Regardless of their sex all floral buds are bisexual at the early bud stage. A stage specific arrest of either stamen or carpel leads to unisexual flower development. The possible downstream product of the interaction of the sex determining genes that may directly allow the growth or selectively arrest stamen or pistil is not yet identified. Therefore, in the current study, we performed suppression subtractive hybridization using floral buds from nearly isogenic gynoecious and hermaphrodite cucumber plants and identified for the first time a cDNA homologous to nucleotide sugar epimerase. The expression level of the isolated putative nucleotide sugar epimerase is weak in female floral buds but strong in bisexual and male flowers. The weak level of the putative nucleotide sugar epimerase may be an indication for its improper functioning, which may influence stamen development in cucumber plants.