The cre recombinase gene was stably introduced and expressed in tomato, petunia and Nicotiana tabacum. Some plants expressing the cre gene driven by a CaMV 35S promoter displayed growth retardation and a distinct pattern of chlorosis in their leaves. Although no direct relation can be proven between the phenotype and cre expression, aberrant phenotypes always co-segregate with the transgene, which strongly suggests a correlation. The severity of the phenotype does not correlate with the level of steady-state mRNA in mature leaves, but with the timing of cre expression during organogenesis. The early onset of cre expression in tomato is correlated with a more severe phenotype and with higher germinal transmission frequencies of site-specific deletions. No aberrant phenotype was observed when a tissue-specific phaseolin promoter was used to drive the cre gene. The data suggest that for the application of recombinases in plants, expression is best limited to specific tissues and a short time frame.[12pt]
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 17, 2004
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