, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 599-609

Tissue-specific and light-responsive regulation of the promoter region of the Arabidopsis thaliana chloroplast ω-3 fatty acid desaturase gene (FAD7)

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The Arabidopsis FAD7 gene encodes a chloroplast ω-3 fatty acid desaturase that catalyzes the desaturation of lipid-linked dienoic fatty acids (18:2 and 16:2). An 825 bp FAD7 promoter fragment upstream from the transcriptional start point contained several short sequences which were homologous to the cis-elements (box II, G-box, etc.) conserved in many light-responsive genes. We introduced the FAD7 promoter fused to the β-glucuronidase (GUS) or the luciferase (LUC) reporter gene into tobacco plants. The −825 promoter sequence conferred tissue-specific and light-responsive expression to both these reporter genes in transgenic tobacco, indicating that these expressions of the FAD7 gene were regulated mainly at the transcriptional level. Histochemical GUS staining showed that the activity of the FAD7 promoter is restricted to the tissues with chloroplast-containing cells although the staining was noticeably absent in the chloroplast-containing cells associated with vascular systems. The 5′ deletion experiments of the promoter revealed that the −362/ −166 region, containing two putative box II sequences, was responsible for the tissue-specific and light-responsive expression of the FAD7 gene.