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Plant Mol Biol. 1995 Jun;28(3):423-35.

High levels of ripening-specific reporter gene expression directed by tomato fruit polygalacturonase gene-flanking regions.

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Department of Physiology and Environmental Science, University of Nottingham Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Loughborough, UK.


The 1.4 kb 5' polygalacturonase (PG) gene-flanking region has previously been demonstrated to direct ripening-specific chloramphenicol acetyl transferase (CAT) expression in transgenic tomato plants. The steady state level of CAT mRNA in these plants was estimated to be less than 1% of the endogenous PG mRNA. Further constructs containing larger PG gene-flanking regions were generated and tested for their ability to direct higher levels of reporter gene expression. A 4.8 kb 5'-flanking region greatly increased levels of ripening-specific reporter gene activity, while a 1.8 kb 3' region was only shown to have a positive regulatory role in the presence of the extended 5' region. Transgenic plants containing the CAT gene flanked by both of these regions showed the same temporal pattern of accumulation of CAT and PG mRNA, and steady-state levels of the transgene mRNA were equivalent to 60% of the endogenous PG mRNA on a per gene basis. The proximal 150 bp of the PG promoter gave no detectable CAT activity. However, the distal 3.4 kb of the 4.8 kb 5' PG promoter was shown to confer high levels of ripening-specific gene expression when placed in either orientation upstream of the 150 bp minimal promoter. The DNA sequence of the 3.4 kb region revealed a 400 bp imperfect reverse repeat, and sequences which showed similarity to functionally significant sequences from the ripening-related, ethylene-regulated tomato E8 and E4 gene promoters. The possible roles of the flanking regions in regulating PG gene expression are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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