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Plant Biotechnol J. 2009 Jun;7(5):472-85. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7652.2009.00416.x.

Strategies to mitigate transgene-promoter interactions.

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Ottawa-Carleton Institute of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


The expression pattern of tissue-specific promoters in transgenes can be influenced by promoter/enhancer elements employed for the expression of selectable marker genes or elements found in DNA flanking the insertion site. We have developed an analytical system in Arabidopsis thaliana to investigate strategies useful in blocking or reducing nonspecific interactions. These experiments confirm that the DNA configuration and the insertion of spacer DNA aid in the appropriate expression of tissue-specific promoters. It is also demonstrated that the novel tobacco cryptic promoter (tCUP), when used to replace the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter/enhancer, does not show nonspecific interactions. Furthermore, it is shown that insulators isolated from yeast and animals may have potential application in plants. Our results may allow the design of strategies that, individually or in combination, can be used to minimize nonspecific interactions and to design vectors for individual tissue-specific promoters.

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