, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 613-627

Transcription of genes for conglutin γ and a leginsulin-like protein in narrow-leafed lupin

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The expression of genes encoding conglutin γ and a leginsulin-like protein has been examined in narrow-leafed lupin, Lupinus angustifolius L. Conglutin γ is a homologue of basic 7S globulin (Bg), the insulin and leginsulin binding protein from soybean. Accumulation of conglutin γ mRNA, as assessed by northern assays and reverse-transcription PCR, was tightly regulated both spatially and temporally in lupin plants and was detected almost exclusively in developing seeds. Similar tissue and temporal specificity was demonstrated when 1.8 kb of the promoter region from the conglutin γ gene was used to drive the expression of a β-glucuronidase reporter gene in transgenic plants. In stably transformed tobacco the conglutin γ promoter produced strong, temporally regulated and seed-specific expression of the reporter gene which was localised to the embryo tissues and to a layer of cells adjacent to the seed coat. A truncated 0.29 kb promoter fragment produced much reduced levels of expression and a loss of embryo specificity. Leginsulin-like mRNA was similarly detected in lupins only in developing seeds. The leginsulin-like gene detected in L. angustifolius showed 96% sequence identity to leginsulin from soybean within the 280 bp region amplified from lupin by PCR. The results demonstrate that both components of a Bg-leginsulin putative signal transduction pathway are present in the seeds of lupin.