In order to identify important promoter elements controlling the ammonium-regulated expression of the soybean gene GS15 encoding cytosolic glutamine synthetase, a series of 5′ promoter deletions were fused to the GUS reporter gene. To allow the detection of positive and negative regulatory elements, a series of 3′ deletions were fused to a −90 CaMV 35S promoter fragment placed upstream of the GUS gene. Both types of construct were introduced into Lotus corniculatus plants and soybean roots via Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation. Both spectrophotometric enzymatic analysis and histochemical localization of GUS activity in roots, root nodules and shoots of transgenic plants revealed that a strong constitutive positive element (SCPE) of 400 bp, located in the promoter distal region is indispensable for the ammonium- regulated expression of GS15. Interestingly, this SCPE was able to direct constitutive expression in both a legume and non- legume background to a level similar to that driven by the CaMV 35S full-length promoter. In addition, results showed that separate proximal elements, located in the first 727 bp relative to the transcription start site, are essential for root- and root nodule-specific expression. This proximal region contains an AAAGAT and two TATTTAT consensus sequences characteristic of nodulin or nodule-enhanced gene promoters. A putative silencer region containing the same TATTTAT consensus sequence was identified between the SCPE and the organ-specific elements. The presence of positive, negative and organ-specific elements together with the three TATTTAT consensus sequences within the promoter strongly suggest that these multiple promoter fragments act in a cooperative manner, depending on the spatial conformation of the DNA for trans-acting factor accessibility.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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