The cdc2 gene product (p34cdc2) has been thought to play a central role in control of the mitotic cell cycle of yeasts and animals. To approach an understanding of the cell-cycle-control system in higher plants, we isolated, from an Arabidopsis thaliana cDNA library, two clones (CDC2a and CDC2b) similar to the Schizosacchawmyces pombe cdc2 gene. Genomic Southern-blot analysis with the CDC2a and CDC2b cDNA probes suggested that the A. thaliana genome contains several additional cdc2-like genes, which together with the CDC2a and CDC2b genes may constitute a CDC2 gene family. The CDC2a cDNA expressed in Sc. pombe corrected the elongated morphology, caused by the temperature-sensitive cdc2-33 mutation, to the normal shapes, indicating that the A. thaliana CDC2a gene product resembles Sc. pombe p34cdc2 functionally as well as structurally. These results support the view that the cell cycle of higher plants is controlled by an analogue of a p34cdc2-centered regulatory system like that of yeasts and animals.
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