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Plant Cell Physiol. 2000 Jul;41(7):831-9.

Jasmonate induction of putrescine N-methyltransferase genes in the root of Nicotiana sylvestris.

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  • 1Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Japan.


Nicotine alkaloids are synthesized in the root of Nicotiana species, and their synthesis increases after insect attack, wounding and jasmonate treatment of the leaf. Putrescine N-methyltransferase (PMT) catalyzes the first committed step in nicotine biosynthesis. The expression patterns of the three Nicotiana sylvestris PMT genes (NsPMT1, NsPMT2, and NsPMT3) are reported in this study. Transcripts of the NsPMT genes were detected only in the root, and were up-regulated by methyl jasmonate treatment. When the 5'-flanking regions of NsPMT1, NsPMT2, and NsPMT3 were fused independently to beta-glucuronidase reporter gene and introduced into N. sylvestris by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, all introduced transgenes were expressed in the cortex, endodermis, and xylem in the root, as well as upregulated by methyl jasmonate treatment. These qualitatively similar patterns of expression for the NsPMT genes are achieved with only 0.25 kb of their conserved 5'-flanking regions, which contained no known jasmonate-responsive elements.

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