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Plant Mol Biol. 1995 Jul;28(4):619-34.

Promoters from kin1 and cor6.6, two Arabidopsis thaliana low-temperature- and ABA-inducible genes, direct strong beta-glucuronidase expression in guard cells, pollen and young developing seeds.

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Plant Biotechnology Institute, National Research Council of Canada, Saskatoon.

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  • Plant Mol Biol 1995 Dec;29(6):1307.


The ability of most higher plants to withstand freezing can be enhanced by cold acclimation, although the freezing tolerance of plant tissues is also affected by their developmental stage. In addition, low temperature has pleiotropic effects on many plant developmental processes such as vernalization. The interaction between plant development and low temperature implies that some genes are regulated by both environmental factors and developmental cues. Although a number of cold-inducible genes from plants have been identified, information concerning their regulation during plant development is limited. In order to understand their developmental regulation and obtain possible clues as to function, the promoters of kin1 and cor6.6, two cold- and abscisic acid (ABA)-regulated genes from Arabidopsis thaliana, were fused to the beta-glucuronidase (GUS)-coding sequence and the resulting constructs were used to transform tobacco and A. thaliana. Transgenic plants with either the kin1 or cor6.6 promoter showed strong GUS expression in pollen, developing seeds, trichomes and, most interestingly, in guard cells. During pollen development, maximum GUS activity was found in mature pollen. In contrast, the maximum GUS activity during seed development was during early embryogenesis. These patterns of expression distinguish kin1 and cor6.6 from related lea genes which are strongly expressed during late embryogenesis. There was no major qualitative difference in patterns of GUS expression between kin1 and cor6.6 promoters and the results were similar for transgenic tobacco and Arabidopsis. Considering the results described, as well as those in an accompanying paper (Wang et al., 1995, Plant Mol Biol 28: 605-617 (this issue), we suggest that osmotic potential might be a major factor in regulating the expression of kin1 and cor6.6 during several developmental processes. The implication of the results for possible function of the gene products is discussed.

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