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Plant Physiol. 1995 Dec;109(4):1371-8.

Isolation of a polyubiquitin promoter and its expression in transgenic potato plants.

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  • 1Demeter Biotechnologies, Ltd., Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


A polyubiquitin clone (ubi7) was isolated from a potato (Solanum tuberosum) genomic library using a copy-specific probe from a stress-induced ubiquitin cDNA. The genomic clone contained a 569-bp intron immediately 5' to the initiation codon for the first ubiquitin-coding unit. Two chimeric beta-glucuronidase (GUS) fusion transgenes were introduced into potato. The first contained GUS fused to a 1156-bp promoter fragment containing only 5' flanking and 5' untranslated sequences from ubi7. The second transgene contained GUS translationally fused to the carboxy terminus of the first ubiquitin-coding unit and thus included the intron present in the 5' untranslated region of the polyubiquitin gene. Both ubi7-GUS transgenes were activated by wounding in tuber tissue and in leaves by application of exogenous methyl jasmonate. They were also expressed constitutively in the potato tuber peel (outer 1-2 mm). Both transgenes were actively expressed in mature leaves. Exceptionally high levels of expression were observed in senescent leaves. Transgenic clones containing the ubi7 intron and the first ubiquitin-coding unit showed GUS expression levels at least 10 times higher than clones containing GUS fused to the intronless promoter.

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