Many studies in both animal and plant systems have shown that matrix attachment regions (MARs) can increase the expression of flanking transgenes. However, our previous studies revealed no effect of the chicken lysozyme MARs (chiMARs) on transgene expression in the first generation transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants transformed with a β-glucuronidase gene (uidA) unless gene silencing mutants were used as genetic background for transformation. In the present study, we investigated why chiMARs do not influence transgene expression in transgenic wild-type Arabidopsis plants. We first studied the effect of chiMARs on transgene expression in the progeny of primary transformants harboring chiMAR-flanked T-DNAs. Our data indicate that chiMARs do not affect transgene expression in consecutive generations of wild-type A. thaliana plants. Next, we examined whether these observed results in A. thaliana transformants are influenced by the applied transformation method. The results from in vitro transformed A. thaliana plants are in accordance with those from in planta transformed A. thaliana plants and again reveal no influence of chiMARs on transgene expression in A. thaliana wild-type transformants. The effect of chiMARs on transgene expression is also examined in in vitro transformed Nicotiana tabacum plants, but as for A. thaliana, the transgene expression in tobacco transformants is not altered by the presence of chiMARs. Taken together, our results show that the applied method or the plant species used for transformation does not influence whether and how chiMARs have an effect on transgene expression. Finally, we studied the effect of MARs (tabMARs) of plant origin (tobacco) on the transgene expression in A. thaliana wild-type plants and suppressed gene silencing (sgs2) mutants. Our results clearly show that similar to chiMARs, the tobacco-derived MARs do not enhance transgene expression in a wild-type background but can be used to enhance transgene expression in a mutant impaired in gene silencing.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 30, 2006
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