, Volume 208, Issue 4, pp 463-471

Structure and regulation of the Arabidopsis thaliana allene oxide synthase gene

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Allene oxide synthase (AOS) is encoded by a single intronless gene in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. The promoter region of the AOS gene exhibits, in addition to the elements of a minimal promoter and the presence of general enhancers, cis-elements that, in other promoters, are responsible for stress- and ethylene-responsiveness. Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana tabacum L. were transformed with a chimaeric gene consisting of a 1.9-kb 5′-upstream sequence and the first 95 nucleotides of the AOS coding sequence translationally fused to uid A encoding β-glucuronidase (GUS). Using histochemistry, GUS activity was seen in older leaves, in the bases of petioles and in stipules, during the early stages of carpel development, in maturing pollen grains and at the base of elongated filaments, as well as in abscission-zone scars. A role for jasmonates in floral organ abscission is suggested by these findings. Furthermore, the AOS promoter was activated both locally as well as systemically upon wounding. Jasmonic acid, 12-oxophytodienoic acid and coronatine strongly induced GUS activity. This induction remained confined to the treated leaf when agonists were applied locally to a leaf, suggesting that neither jasmonic acid nor 12-oxophytodienoic acid are physiologically relevant components of the systemic wound signal complex. Rather, the data show that jasmonates behave as local response regulators produced at or around the sites of action in response to appropriate triggers of their synthesis.

Received: 21 September 1998 / Accepted: 30 December 1998