, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 527-538

Histochemical analysis of CaMV 35S promoter-β-glucuronidase gene expression in transgenic rice plants

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Abstract

The cauliflower mosaic virus promoter is commonly used to drive transcription of chimeric genes in transgenic plants, including the cereals. To determine the tissue and cell types of cereal plants that the promoter functions in, transgenic rice plants containing a CaMV 35S promoter/GUS chimeric gene were analyzed for GUS activity. Insertion of a 35S/GUS chimeric gene at low copy number into chromosomal DNA of plants regenerated from electroporated protoplasts was confirmed by gel blot hybridization analysis of uncut and endonuclease-digested DNA. Quantitative measurement showed that GUS activity was some tenfold higher in rice leaves than in tobacco leaves [8] whereas activities obtained for rice roots were similar to those reported for tobacco roots. Histochemical localization of GUS activity confirmed that the CaMV 35S promoter functions in cells of the leaf epidermis, mesophyll and vascular bundle. It is also active in the cortex and vascular cylinder of the root, but only marginally active in the root epidermis. The generally similar distribution and levels of GUS activity obtained in differentiated tissue of stably transformed rice plants indicates the value of the CaMV 35S promoter as a positive control for studies in gene activity in transgenic monocots and dicots.