Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L., a halophytic species, displays modified trichomes, epidermal bladder cells (EBC), on the surfaces of its aerial organs. EBCs serve to sequester excessive salt from underlying metabolically active tissues. To elucidate the molecular determinants governing EBC development in the common ice plant, we constructed a cDNA-based suppression subtractive hybridization library and identified genes differentially expressed between the wild-type and the EBC-less mutant. After hybridization, 38 clones were obtained. Among them, 24 clones had homology with plant genes of known functions, whose roles might not be directly related to EBC-morphology, while 14 clones were homologous to genes of unknown functions. After confirmation by northern blot analysis, 12 out of 14 clones of unknown functions were chosen for semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis, and the results revealed that three clones designated as MW3, MW21, and MW31 preferentially expressed in the EBC-less mutant, whereas the other two designated as WM10 and WM28 preferentially expressed in the wild type. Among these genes, the expression of a putative jasmonate-induced gene, designated as WM28 was completely suppressed in the EBC-mutant. In addition, the deletion of C-box cis-acting element was found in the promoter region of WM28 in the EBC-less mutant. Overexpression of WM28 in Arabidopsis resulted in increased trichome number due to the upregulation of key trichome-related genes GLABRA1 (GL1), and GLABRA3 (GL3). These results demonstrate that WM28 can be an important factor responsible for EBC formation, and also suggest the similarity of developmental mechanism between trichome in Arabidopsis and EBC in common ice plant.
!!!All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes