We have isolated both a genomic and near full length cDNA clone for a D-class cyclin gene from the perennial weed leafy spurge. Sequence analysis indicates that this gene has the highest similarity to CYCLIN D3-2 of Arabidopsis. This gene is preferentially expressed in growing shoot apices and is up-regulated in adventitious buds on resumption of growth following loss of correlative inhibition (apical dominance). CYCLIN D3-2 is also induced in nongrowing adventitious buds of plants treated with gibberellic acid or after removal of leaves—treatments known to up-regulate expression of G1 to S phase transition–specific genes such as HISTONE H3 in adventitious buds. CYCLIN D3-2 was not induced on removal of the apical and axillary buds. Expression of CYCLIN D3-2 is down-regulated in adventitious crown buds during initiation of ecodormancy in early winter. Sequence comparisons of CYCLIN D3-2 with its putative orthologue from Arabidopsis identified several conserved motifs in the promoter region and a conserved region capable of forming a stable hairpin loop in the 5′ untranslated region. Conservation of these noncoding sequences across species strongly suggests they have a regulatory function.
Nomenclature: Leafy spurge, Euphorbia esula L. EPHES; arabidopsis Arabidopsis thaliana L. ARATH.