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EMBO J. 1991 May;10(5):1027-35.

Constitutive expression of nitrate reductase allows normal growth and development of Nicotiana plumbaginifolia plants.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Biologie cellulaire, INRA, Centre de Versailles, France.


A nitrate reductase (NR) deficient mutant of Nicotiana plumbaginifolia totally impaired in the production of NR transcript and protein was restored for NR activity by transformation with a chimaeric NR gene. This gene was composed of a full-length tobacco NR cDNA fused to the CaMV 35S promoter and to termination signals from the tobacco NR gene. The transgenic plants we obtained were viable and fertile and expressed from one-fifth to three times the wild-type NR activity in their leaves. The analysis of chimeric NR gene expression in these plants showed, by comparison with wild-type plants, that the regulation of NR gene expression by light, nitrate and circadian rhythm takes place at the transcriptional level. However, unlike nitrate, light was required for the accumulation of NR protein in transgenic plants, suggesting that NR expression is also controlled at the translational and/or post-translational level.

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