Expression and functional analyses of EXO70 genes in Arabidopsis implicate their roles in regulating cell type-specific exocytosis

Plant Physiol. 2010 Dec;154(4):1819-30. doi: 10.1104/pp.110.164178. Epub 2010 Oct 13.


During exocytosis, Golgi-derived vesicles are tethered to the target plasma membrane by a conserved octameric complex called the exocyst. In contrast to a single gene in yeast and most animals, plants have greatly increased number of EXO70 genes in their genomes, with functions very much unknown. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reactions were performed on all 23 EXO70 genes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) to examine their expression at the organ level. Cell-level expression analyses were performed using transgenic plants carrying β-glucuronidase reporter constructs, showing that EXO70 genes are primarily expressed in potential exocytosis-active cells such as tip-growing and elongating cells, developing xylem elements, and guard cells, whereas no expression was observed in cells of mature organs such as well-developed leaves, stems, sepals, and petals. Six EXO70 genes are expressed in distinct but partially overlapping stages during microspore development and pollen germination. A mutation in one of these genes, EXO70C1 (At5g13150), led to retarded pollen tube growth and compromised male transmission. This study implies that multiplications of EXO70 genes may allow plants to acquire cell type- and/or cargo-specific regulatory machinery for exocytosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / physiology*
  • Exocytosis / genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Pollen
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Xylem / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins