Isolation and characterization of the Jatropha curcas APETALA1 (JcAP1) promoter conferring preferential expression in inflorescence buds
The 1.5 kb JcAP1 promoter from the biofuel plant Jatropha curcas is predominantly active in the inflorescence buds of transgenic plants, in which the −1313/−1057 region is essential for maintaining the activity.
Arabidopsis thaliana APETALA1 (AP1) is a MADS-domain transcription factor gene that functions primarily in flower development. We isolated a homolog of AP1 from Jatropha curcas (designated JcAP1), which was shown to exhibit flower-specific expression in Jatropha. JcAP1 is first expressed in inflorescence buds and continues to be primarily expressed in the sepals. We isolated a 1.5 kb JcAP1 promoter and evaluated its activity in transgenic Arabidopsis and Jatropha using the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene. In transgenic Arabidopsis and Jatropha, the inflorescence buds exhibited notable GUS activity, whereas the sepals did not. Against expectations, the JcAP1 promoter was active in the anthers of Arabidopsis and Jatropha and was highly expressed in Jatropha seeds. An analysis of promoter deletions in transgenic Arabidopsis revealed that deletion of the −1313/−1057 region resulted in loss of JcAP1 promoter activity in the inflorescence buds and increased activity in the anthers. These results suggested that some regulatory sequences in the −1313/−1057 region are essential for maintaining promoter activity in inflorescence buds and can partly suppress activity in the anthers. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that other elements located upstream of the 1.5 kb JcAP1 promoter may be required for flower-specific activation. The JcAP1 promoter characterized in this study can be used to drive transgene expression in both the inflorescence buds and seeds of Jatropha.
KeywordsAnther APETALA1 Flower Physic nut Promoter Seed
This work was supported by funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31370595), the CAS 135 program (XTBG-T02), and the Top Science and Technology Talents Scheme of Yunnan Province (2009CI123). The authors gratefully acknowledge the Central Laboratory of the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden for providing research facilities.
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