, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 667-677

Structural organization and differential expression of three stilbene synthase genes located on a 13 kb grapevine DNA fragment

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A 13 kb DNA fragment was isolated from a grapevine (Vitis var. Optima) genomic library by hybridizing with elicitor-induced stilbene synthase cDNA as a probe. After fragmentation with Eco RI, subcloning and sequencing, two full-size stilbene synthase genes (Vst1 and Vst2) and the 3′ end of a third stilbene synthase gene (Vst3) were located within the 13 kb fragment. Vst1 and Vst2, differing only slightly in the coding region, are distinguished in the intron size and in the structure of the promoter region. The 5′ flanking region of gene Vst1 contains a TATAA box at nucleotide −48. The substantial structural differences found for the promoters of the two genes are paralleled by a striking difference in the expression of the two genes in elicitor-treated cells. Moreover, the accumulation upon elicitation of six different stilbene synthase mRNAs was studied and found to differ by two orders of magnitude.