Lethality of inducible, meristem-localized ectopic β-glucuronidase expression in plants

Fushi Wen, Ho Hyung Woo, Ann M. Hirsch, Martha C. Hawes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


GUSA from Escherichia coli, encoded by the uidA gene, has been successfully used as a plant reporter system for more than a decade with no reported deleterious effects. However, when expressed in coordination with a UDP-glucuronosyltransferase isolated from the root cap meristem of Pisum sativum (PsUGT1) at the onset of mitosis, GUSA expression was lethal in pea, alfalfa, and Arabidopsis thaliana. These unexpected results indicate that, under some circumstances, using GUSA in plants is incompatible with life and suggest that the cell-specific lethal phenotype might be useful in selecting for genes specifically involved in regulating the G2-M phase of the cell cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Molecular Biology Reporter
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Cell cycle
  • Glucuronidase
  • Lethality
  • Meristem
  • Reporter gene
  • Root cap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science


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