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ATP synthase CF1 α subunit protein is a key enzyme for energy metabolism in plant kingdom, and plays an important role in multiple cell processes. In this study, the complete atpA gene (accession no. JN247444) was cloned from sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L. Lam) by reverse transcriptasepolymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). This atpA gene contains an open reading frame (ORF) of 1524 bp coding for a peptide of 507 amino acids with a molecular mass of 55.36 kD. Sequence analysis showed that atpA gene from sweet potato has high homology with the other plant chloroplast atpA. The transcript levels of the atpA gene in young leaves, mature leaves, stems and tuberous roots were examined by the digital gene expression profiling (DGE), and then confirmed by semi-quantitative RTPCR. The results demonstrate that the highest transcription of atpA gene was found in young leaves, but it was relatively lower in other three tissues. In addition, the atpA gene was successfully expressed in Escherichia coli.
Key words: Sweet potato, atpA gene, gene expression, digital gene expression profiling, quantitative analysis