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Plant Physiol. 1991 Dec;97(4):1414-21.

Sugar-Dependent Expression of the CHS-A Gene for Chalcone Synthase from Petunia in Transgenic Arabidopsis.

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Molecular Genetics Research Laboratory, The University of Tokyo, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113, Japan.


Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants were constructed by introduction of a fusion of the gene for beta-glucuronidase (GUS) to the CHS-A gene, which is one of the two genes for chalcone synthase that are actively expressed in the floral organs of petunia. The expression of the fusion gene CHS-A::GUS was low in transgenic Arabidopsis plantlets, but it was enhanced when plantlets or detached leaves were transferred to a medium that contained 0.3 molar sucrose, glucose, or fructose. No enhancement was observed when plantlets were transferred to a medium that contained 0.3 molar mannitol. Measurements of cellular levels of sugars revealed a tight linkage between the level of expression of the CHS-A::GUS gene and the level of accumulation of exogenously supplied sugars, in particular sucrose. The parallelism between the organ-specific accumulation of sugar and the organ-specific expression of the CHS-A::GUS gene was also observed in petunia and A. thaliana plants grown under normal conditions in soil. The consensus sequences for sugar responses, such as boxes II and III in members of the family of sporamin genes from the sweet potato, were found in the promoter region of the CHS-A gene that was used for fusion to the GUS gene. It is suggested that the expression of the CHS-A gene is regulated by sugars, as is the expression of other sugar-responsive genes, such as the genes for sporamin. A putative common mechanism for the control of expression of "sugar-related" genes, including the CHS-A gene, is discussed.

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