• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of geneticsGeneticsCurrent IssueInformation for AuthorsEditorial BoardSubscribeSubmit a Manuscript
Genetics. Jun 2002; 161(2): 793–801.
PMCID: PMC1462123

Transposon insertions in the promoter of the Zea mays a1 gene differentially affect transcription by the Myb factors P and C1.


The understanding of control of gene regulation in higher eukaryotes relies heavily on results derived from non-in vivo studies, but rarely can the significance of these approximations be established in vivo. Here, we investigated the effect of Mutator and Spm insertions on the expression of the flavonoid biosynthetic gene a1, independently regulated by the transcription factors C1 and P. The a1-mum2 and a1-m2 alleles carry Mu1 and Spm insertions, respectively, in a cis-element (ARE) of unknown function located between the P- and C1-binding sites. We show that the insertions of Mu1 and Spm similarly influence the expression of a1 controlled by C1 or P. The P-controlled a1 expression in a1-m2 is Spm dependent, and the mutant phenotype of a1-mum2 is suppressed in the pericarp in the absence of the autonomous MuDR element. Footprints within the ARE affect the regulation of a1 by C1 and P differently, providing evidence that these factors control a1 expression using distinct cis-acting regulatory elements. Together, our findings contribute significantly to one of the best-described plant regulatory systems, while stressing the need to complement with in vivo experiments current approaches used for the study of control of gene expression.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (361K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Athma P, Peterson T. Ac induces homologous recombination at the maize P locus. Genetics. 1991 May;128(1):163–173. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Barkan A, Martienssen RA. Inactivation of maize transposon Mu suppresses a mutant phenotype by activating an outward-reading promoter near the end of Mu1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Apr 15;88(8):3502–3506. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Chandler VL, Hardeman KJ. The Mu elements of Zea mays. Adv Genet. 1992;30:77–122. [PubMed]
  • Chomet P, Lisch D, Hardeman KJ, Chandler VL, Freeling M. Identification of a regulatory transposon that controls the Mutator transposable element system in maize. Genetics. 1991 Sep;129(1):261–270. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cone KC, Cocciolone SM, Burr FA, Burr B. Maize anthocyanin regulatory gene pl is a duplicate of c1 that functions in the plant. Plant Cell. 1993 Dec;5(12):1795–1805. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Das L, Martienssen R. Site-selected transposon mutagenesis at the hcf106 locus in maize. Plant Cell. 1995 Mar;7(3):287–294. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Doseff A, Martienssen R, Sundaresan V. Somatic excision of the Mu1 transposable element of maize. Nucleic Acids Res. 1991 Feb 11;19(3):579–584. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Goff SA, Cone KC, Chandler VL. Functional analysis of the transcriptional activator encoded by the maize B gene: evidence for a direct functional interaction between two classes of regulatory proteins. Genes Dev. 1992 May;6(5):864–875. [PubMed]
  • Grotewold E, Athma P, Peterson T. A possible hot spot for Ac insertion in the maize P gene. Mol Gen Genet. 1991 Nov;230(1-2):329–331. [PubMed]
  • O'Reilly C, Shepherd NS, Pereira A, Schwarz-Sommer Z, Bertram I, Robertson DS, Peterson PA, Saedler H. Molecular cloning of the a1 locus of Zea mays using the transposable elements En and Mu1. EMBO J. 1985 Apr;4(4):877–882. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Grotewold E, Drummond BJ, Bowen B, Peterson T. The myb-homologous P gene controls phlobaphene pigmentation in maize floral organs by directly activating a flavonoid biosynthetic gene subset. Cell. 1994 Feb 11;76(3):543–553. [PubMed]
  • Rabinowicz PD, Braun EL, Wolfe AD, Bowen B, Grotewold E. Maize R2R3 Myb genes: Sequence analysis reveals amplification in the higher plants. Genetics. 1999 Sep;153(1):427–444. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Grotewold E, Sainz MB, Tagliani L, Hernandez JM, Bowen B, Chandler VL. Identification of the residues in the Myb domain of maize C1 that specify the interaction with the bHLH cofactor R. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Dec 5;97(25):13579–13584. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schwarz-Sommer Z, Shepherd N, Tacke E, Gierl A, Rohde W, Leclercq L, Mattes M, Berndtgen R, Peterson PA, Saedler H. Influence of transposable elements on the structure and function of the A1 gene of Zea mays. EMBO J. 1987 Feb;6(2):287–294. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Settles AM, Baron A, Barkan A, Martienssen RA. Duplication and suppression of chloroplast protein translocation genes in maize. Genetics. 2001 Jan;157(1):349–360. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Tuerck JA, Fromm ME. Elements of the maize A1 promoter required for transactivation by the anthocyanin B/C1 or phlobaphene P regulatory genes. Plant Cell. 1994 Nov;6(11):1655–1663. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Masson P, Surosky R, Kingsbury JA, Fedoroff NV. Genetic and molecular analysis of the Spm-dependent a-m2 alleles of the maize a locus. Genetics. 1987 Sep;117(1):117–137. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Genetics are provided here courtesy of Genetics Society of America


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...