Molecular Breeding

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 221–231 | Cite as

Isolation and characterization of a novel plant promoter that directs strong constitutive expression of transgenes in plants

  • Kai Xiao
  • Celia Zhang
  • Maria Harrison
  • Zeng-Yu Wang


A novel, constitutively expressed gene, designated MtHP, was isolated from the model legume species Medicago truncatula. Sequence analysis indicates that MtHP most likely belongs to the PR10 multi-gene family. The MtHP promoter was fused to a β-glucuronidase gene to characterize its expression in different plant species. Transient assay by microprojectile bombardment and hairy root transformation by Agrobacterium rhizogenes revealed GUS expression in leaf, stem, radicle and root in M. truncatula. Detailed analysis in transgenic Arabidopsis plants demonstrated that the promoter could direct transgene expression in different tissues and organs at various developmental stages; its expression pattern was similar to that of CaMV35S promoter, and the level of expression was higher than the reporter gene driven by CaMV35S promoter. Deletion analysis revealed that even a 107 bp fragment of the promoter could still lead to a moderate level of expression. The promoter was further characterized in white clover (Trifolium repens), a widely grown forage legume species. Strong constitutive expression was observed in transgenic white clover plants. Compared with CaMV35S promoter, the level of GUS activity in transgenic white clover was higher when the transgene was driven by MtHP promoter. Thus, the promoter provides a useful alternative to the CaMV35S promoter in plant transformation for high levels of constitutive expression.


Constitutive expression Deletion analysis Medicago truncatula Promoter Transgenic plant 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai Xiao
    • 1
    • 3
  • Celia Zhang
    • 1
    • 4
  • Maria Harrison
    • 2
  • Zeng-Yu Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Forage Improvement DivisionThe Samuel Roberts Noble FoundationArdmoreUSA
  2. 2.Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant ResearchCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  3. 3.College of AgronomyHebei Agricultural UniversityBaodingChina
  4. 4.Biodefence DivisionLawrence Livermore National LaboratoryLivermoreUSA

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