The promoter from SlREO, a highly-expressed, root-specific Solanum lycopersicum gene, directs expression to cortex of mature roots

Functional Plant Biology : FPB
Matthew O JonesAndrew J Thompson


Root-specific promoters are valuable tools for targeting transgene expression, but many of those already described have limitations to their general applicability. We present the expression characteristics of SlREO, a novel gene isolated from tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). This gene was highly expressed in roots but had a very low level of expression in aerial plant organs. A 2.4-kb region representing the SlREO promoter sequence was cloned upstream of the uidA GUS reporter gene and shown to direct expression in the root cortex. In mature, glasshouse-grown plants this strict root specificity was maintained. Furthermore, promoter activity was unaffected by dehydration or wounding stress but was somewhat suppressed by exposure to NaCl, salicylic acid and jasmonic acid. The predicted protein sequence of SlREO contains a domain found in enzymes of the 2-oxoglutarate and Fe(II)-dependent dioxygenase superfamily. The novel SlREO promoter has properties ideal for applications requiring strong and specific gene expression in the bulk of tomato root tissue growing in soil, and is also likely to be useful in other Solanaceous crops.


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