Developmental Dynamics of Kranz Cell Transcriptional Specificity in Maize Leaf Reveals Early Onset of C4-related Processes

J Exp Bot. 2014 Jul;65(13):3543-55. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eru152. Epub 2014 Apr 30.


The comparison of the cell-specific transcriptomes of bundle sheath (BS) and mesophyll (M) cells from successive developmental stages of maize (Zea mays) leaves reveals that the number of genes preferentially transcribed in one cell type or the other varies considerably from the sink-source transition to mature photosynthetic stages. The number of differentially expressed (DE) genes is maximal at a stage well before full maturity, including those that encode key functions for C4 photosynthesis. The developmental dynamics of BS/M differential expression can be used to identify candidates for other C4-related functions and to simplify the identification of specific pathways members from otherwise complex gene families. A significant portion of the candidates for C4-related transcription factors identified with this developmental DE strategy overlap with those identified in studies using alternative strategies, thus providing independent support for their potential importance.

Keywords: Bundle sheath; C4 photosynthesis; Kranz; leaf development; mesophyll; transcriptome..

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Mesophyll Cells
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Organ Specificity
  • Photosynthesis*
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Leaves / genetics*
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Vascular Bundle / genetics
  • Plant Vascular Bundle / growth & development
  • Plant Vascular Bundle / physiology
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • Transcriptome*
  • Zea mays / genetics*
  • Zea mays / growth & development
  • Zea mays / physiology


  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA, Plant

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE54272