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Multiple ocs-like elements required for efficient transcription of the mannopine synthase gene of T-DNA in maize protoplasts


Regulatory elements controlling transcriptional activity of the mannopine synthase 2′ promoter (mas 2′) were defined by analysis of deletion mutants in transient expression assays in maize protoplasts. Deletion of the region between −305 and −290 containing sequence similarity to the octopine synthase (ocs) promoter element reduced activity by 67% compared to wild type activity. Less than 1% of the activity remained in 5′ deletions downstream of −153. Inclusion of various heterologous enhancer-like sequences immediately upstream of position −325 increased activity by up to 7.5-fold. Insertion of the −325 to −275 sequence alone, or in combination with heterologous enhancer-like elements, restored activity of some of the 5′-deletion mutants. Restoration of activity was not obtained with mutants deleted past position −127. Our results suggest that a single class of nuclear proteins from maize interact with high affinity at elements designated mas b (−306 to −275; mas 1′ element), d (−127 to −108), and e (−82 to −39; mas 2′ element) as well as the 20 bp element from the ocs promoter. Although the binding site at mas d only appears to accommodate a single protein, this element has the potential to make a weak, but positive, contribution to the activity of the mas 2′ promoter. The binding of nuclear proteins could not be demonstrated at mas a and c, both of which showed limited homology to the ocs element. Mutational evidence suggested that mas a and c may also contribute to mas 2′ transcription.

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Fox, P.C., Vasil, V., Vasil, I.K. et al. Multiple ocs-like elements required for efficient transcription of the mannopine synthase gene of T-DNA in maize protoplasts. Plant Mol Biol 20, 219–233 (1992).

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Key words

  • promoter
  • electroporation
  • protoplasts
  • transient assay
  • Agrobacterium
  • Ti plasmid
  • Zea mays