Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

, Volume 136, Issue 2, pp 303–312 | Cite as

Transgenic Lilium longiflorum plants containing the bar-uidA gene controlled by the rice RPC1, Agrobacterium rolD, mas2, and CaMV 35S promoters

  • Kathryn KamoEmail author
  • Roger Thilmony
  • Gary Bauchan
Original Article


Lilies are grown in the field for bulb production where they are susceptible to infection by Pratylenchus penetrans, the root lesion nematode. These migratory nematodes feed on roots and often physically disrupt the root tissues when many nematodes enter and move throughout the root to feed. The goal of this study was to find a root-specific or root-preferred promoter because of our interest in genetic engineering of lilies for nematode resistance. Several promoters, the Agrobacterium rolD and mas2, CaMV 35S, and rice RPC1 were examined in transgenic Lilium longiflorum, Easter lily, plants that contained the bar-uidA fusion gene under each promoter. Histochemical staining showed that the rolD, mas2, and CaMV 35S promoters directed gus gene expression in the cortex and stele of transformed roots. Gus expression was limited to the stele of roots with the rice RPC1 promoter making it unsuitable for engineering nematode resistance. The mas2 promoter was found to be expressed primarily in roots rather than shoots whereas the CaMV 35S promoter expressed well in both roots and shoots. Levels of gus specific activity were relatively high for both the mas2 and CaMV 35S promoter in roots but low with the rolD promoter. Because the mas2 promoter had relatively high levels of gus specific activity in roots and not shoots, and expression was throughout cortex and stele tissues of the roots, mas2 appears to be a promising promoter for engineering resistance to root lesion nematodes in Lilium longiflorum.


Flower bulbs GUS Ornamental plants Transformation 



Anne O’Connor and Sarah Shih are thanked for technical assistance. Mention of a trademark, proprietary product or vendor does not imply its approval to the exclusion of other products or vendors that may also be suitable.

Author contributions

KK planned the study, made the transformed lilies, did histochemical gus staining, and wrote the manuscript. RT provided input and the rice RPC1 construct and sequence and read and reviewed the manuscript. GB took photos of histochemically stained lilies and made the root cross sections.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any conflict of interest with this research.

Ethical approval

This research does not involve animal or human subjects. All authors have reviewed the manuscript and given their consent to submit. The manuscript has been approved for submission to a journal by the required USDA officials.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Floral and Nursery Plants Research UnitUSDA, National ArboretumBeltsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Crop Improvement and Genetics ResearchUSDA-ARS, Western Regional Research CenterAlbanyUSA
  3. 3.Electron and Confocal Microscopy UnitUSDABeltsvilleUSA

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