Two genes, rd29A and rd29B, which are closely located on the Arabidopsis genome, are differentially induced under conditions of dehydration, low temperature, high salt, or treatment with exogenous abscisic acid (ABA). It appears that rd29A has at least two cis-acting elements, one involved in the ABA-associated response to dehydration and the other induced by changes in osmotic potential, and that rd29B contains at least one cis-acting element that is involved in ABA-responsive, slow induction. We analyzed the rd29A promoter in both transgenic Arabidopsis and tobacco and identified a novel cis-acting, dehydration-responsive element (DRE) containing 9 bp, TACCGACAT, that is involved in the first rapid response of rd29A to conditions of dehydration or high salt. DRE is also involved in the induction by low temperature but does not function in the ABA-responsive, slow expression of rd29A. Nuclear proteins that specifically bind to DRE were detected in Arabidopsis plants under either high-salt or normal conditions. Different cis-acting elements seem to function in the two-step induction of rd29A and in the slow induction of rd29B under conditions of dehydration, high salt, or low temperature.
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