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Plant Physiol Biochem. 2005 Mar;43(3):269-76. Epub 2005 Mar 14.

Conservation of the drought-inducible DS2 genes and divergences from their ASR paralogues in solanaceous species.

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  • 1Agricultural Biotechnology Center, P.O. Box 411, H-2101 Gödöllö, Hungary.


The drought-inducible DS2 genes of potatoes are members of the ASR (abscisic acid, stress and ripening) gene family. Previously it was shown that expression of DS2 genes is highly dehydration-specific in potato leaves, is not inducible by cold, heat, salt, hypoxia or oxidative stresses, and is independent of abscisic acid (ABA). Now it is shown that StDS2 does not respond either to sucrose or any plant hormones. Conservation of DS2 genes with this unique mode of regulation was studied in the solanaceous species with different relationships to potatoes. DS2 orthologues were identified by DNA sequence alignment in the closely related Lycopersicon and Capsicum species but not in the more distantly related Nicotiana sp. DNA and RNA gel blot analysis revealed the presence of a gene highly homologous to the potato gene StDS2 in tomato (LeDS2) with the same desiccation-specific expression in leaves and organ-specific expression in flowers and green fruits. The LeDS2 promoter was isolated and found to be almost identical in sequence with the promoter of StDS2, except for a 45-bp insertion in tomato. In contrast, no gene highly similar to StDS2 was detected in Nicotiana species on DNA gel blots. Neither StDS2 nor LeDS2 promoter regions were able to confer expression for the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene in transgenic tobacco plants indicating that the trans regulatory factors necessary for DS2 expression are not conserved either in Nicotiana tabacum. These data suggest a narrow species-specificity and late evolution of the DS2-type genes within the family Solanaceae.

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