The sequence containing `upstream Sal repeats' (USR) from the Arabidopsis thaliana ribosomal DNA intergenic region (IGR) was tested for its influence on the in vivo activity of nearby protein coding genes. On average, the presence of the IGR fragment leads to a four-fold increase in the expression of a reporter gene, β-glucuronidase, under control of the strong CaMV 35S promoter. With the help of the site-specific cre-lox recombination system, we have also obtained pairs of transgenic lines with or without the USR-containing fragment, both integrated at the same chromosomal position. Results with these transgenic lines, which contain an NPT II (kanamycin resistance) gene under control of the nos promoter as a test gene, confirmed the results obtained with the CaMV 35S-driven GUS gene. Moreover, they show that the IGR sequence can oppose tendencies of gene silencing. We hypothesize that the described effect relates to features of the chromatin structure in the proximity of the upstream Sal repeats.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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