The spatial expression of carrot (Daucus carota L.) top1 genes encoding the two isoforms of the enzyme DNA topoisomerase I (EC 22.214.171.124) was investigated. In situ hybridization analysis performed with a probe recognizing both top1 transcripts provided evidence that in explanted hypocotyls induced to proliferate in vitro by the addition of the growth regulator 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), the mRNA accumulation parallels the proliferation of provascular cells of the stelar cylinder. During somatic embryogenesis, the histological distribution of top1 transcripts was strongly evident at the stage of torpedo-shaped embryos, but gene expression was not only restricted to meristematic regions. When the spatial localization was extended to carrot vegetative apices and the investigation was carried out with specific probes for top1alpha and top1beta, both transcripts preferentially accumulated in tissues having mitotic activity.
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