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Plant Mol Biol. 1991 Nov;17(5):985-93.

Regulation of the maize rab17 gene promoter in transgenic heterologous systems.

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Departamento de Genetica Molecular, Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo C.S.I.C., Jorge Girona, Barcelona, Spain.


The maize rab17 gene is expressed in different plant parts in response to ABA and osmotic stress (J. Vilardell et al., Plant Mol Biol 14 (1990) 423-432). Here we demonstrate that 5' upstream sequences of the rab17 gene confer the appropriate patterns of expression on the chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) reporter gene in transgenic tobacco plants, as well as in protoplasts derived from cultured rice cells. Specifically, a CAT construct containing a large 5' upstream fragment of rab17 (-1330/+29) results in high levels of CAT activity in embryos, leaves and roots of transgenic plants subjected to water stress or ABA treatment. Transient expression assays in rice protoplasts transfected with CAT genes fused to rab17 promoter deletions indicate that a 300 bp DNA fragment (-351/-102) is sufficient to confer ABA responsiveness upon the reporter gene. Furthermore, a 100 bp sequence (-219/-102) is capable of conferring ABA responsiveness upon a minimal promoter derived from the 35S CaMV promoter. Gel retardation experiments indicate that maize nuclear proteins bind to this fragment. This region of 100 bp contains a sequence (ACGTGGC) which has been identified as an abscisic acid response element in studies of other ABA-responsive plant genes.

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