Release of Active Cytokinin by a beta-Glucosidase Localized to the Maize Root Meristem

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Abstract

A beta-glucoside encoded by a cloned Zea mays complementary DNA (Zm-p60.1) cleaved the biologically inactive hormone conjugates cytokinin-O-glucosides and kinetin-N3-glucoside, releasing active cytokinin. Tobacco protoplasts that transiently expressed Zm-p60.1 could use the inactive cytokinin glucosides to initiate cell division. The ability of protoplasts to sustain growth in response to cytokinin glucosides persisted indefinitely after the likely disappearance of the expression vector. In the roots of maize seedlings, Zm-p60.1 was localized to the meristematic cells and may function in vivo to supply the developing maize embryo with active cytokinin.

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