Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 705–710 | Cite as

Effects of copy number of an octopine synthase enhancer element and its distance from the TATA box on heterologous expression in transgenic tobacco

  • Shijuan LiuEmail author
  • Ying Bao
Original Paper


The relationship among motif copy number, its distance from the TATA box and expression level was analyzed in transformed tobacco plants. Single or multiple copies of octopine synthase (ocs) enhancer elements from the ocs promoter were linked to the minimal ocs promoter and a β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene, then transformed stably into tobacco. Reporter gene assays revealed that mere repetition of the ocs enhancer sequence is not sufficient for promoter activity. Increasing the number of copies of the ocs element elevated the level of gene expression in an additive manner that was dependent of the element’s distance from the TATA box. To our knowledge, this is the first report in which the regulation of transgene expression by interactions between these two factors has been documented.


Synthetic promoter Motif copy number Distance effect GUS activity 





Octopine synthase


Directed repeat


Inverted repeat



We thank Dr. Decai Cui for providing the construct 8. This research was supported by grants from the National Special Program for Research and Industrialization of Transgenic Plants (Grant No. J99-A-038) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 30770145).


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Life SciencesQufu Normal UniversityQufuPeople’s Republic of China

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