The endosperm of cereal grains is an important resource for both food and feed. It contains three major types of tissue: starchy endosperm, the aleurone layer, and transfer cells. To improve grain quality and quantity using molecular methods, control of transgene expression directed by distinct temporal and spatial promoter activity is necessary. To identify aleurone layer-specific and/or transfer cell-specific promoters in rice, microarray analyses were performed, comparing the aleurone layer containing transfer cells and the other reproductive and vegetative tissues. After confirmation by RT–PCR analysis, we identified two putative aleurone layer and/or transfer cell-specific genes, AL1 and AL2. The promoter regions of these genes and β-glucuronidase (GUS) fusion constructs were stably transformed into rice. The GUS expression patterns indicated that the AL1 promoter was active exclusively in the dorsal aleurone layer adjacent to the main vascular bundle. In rice, transfer cells are differentiated in this region. Therefore, the promoter of the AL1 gene exhibits transfer cell-containing region-specific activity. The AL1 gene encodes a putative anthranilate N-hydroxycinnamoyl/benzoyltransferase. The promoter of this gene will be useful for enhancing uptake of nutrients from the mother cells and protecting filial seeds from pathogen attack.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 16, 2011
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