A member of a large family of seven-transmembrane domain proteins specific to plants, homologs of the barley mildew resistance locus o (MLO) protein. The Arabidopsis genome contains 15 genes encoding MLO proteins, with localization in plasma membrane. Phylogenetic analysis revealed four clades of closely-related AtMLO genes. ATMLO3 belongs to the clade IV, with AtMLO2, AtMLO6 and AtMLO12. The gene is expressed during early seedling growth, in primary root and lateral root primordia, in fruit abscission zone, in vascular system of cotyledons and in trichomes of young leaves,; it was not expressed in mature rosette leaves, as shown by GUS activity patterns. The expression of several phylogenetically closely-related AtMLO genes showed similar or overlapping tissue specificity and analogous responsiveness to external stimuli, suggesting functional redundancy, co-function, or antagonistic function(s).
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