Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 210, Issue 3, pp 437-442

First online:

Cloning of an Arabidopsis thaliana gene encoding 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase: sequence analysis and manipulation to obtain glyphosate-tolerant plants

  • Harry J. KleeAffiliated withPlant Molecular Biology Group, Monsanto Company
  • , Yvonne M. MuskopfAffiliated withPlant Molecular Biology Group, Monsanto Company
  • , Charles S. GasserAffiliated withPlant Molecular Biology Group, Monsanto Company

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5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPs), the target of the herbicide glyphosate, catalyzes an essential step in the shikimate pathway common to aromatic amino acid biosynthesis. We have cloned an EPSP synthase gene from Arabidopsis thaliana by hybridization with a petunia cDNA probe. The Arabidopsis gene is highly homologous to the petunia gene within the mature enzyme but is only 23% homologous in the chloroplast transit peptide portion. The Arabidopsis gene contains seven introns in exactly the same positions as those in the petunia gene. The introns are, however, significantly smaller in the Arabidopsis gene. This reduction accounts for the significantly smaller size of the gene as compared to the petunia gene. We have fused the gene to the cauliflower mosaic virus 35 S promoter and reintroduced the chimeric gene into Arabidopsis. The resultant overproduction of EPSPs leads to glyphosate tolerance in transformed callus and plants.

Key words

Shikimate pathway Herbicide Transgenic plants EPSP synthase