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Expressional and regulatory characterization of Arabidopsis RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 1


RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 1 (RDR1), a component of gene silencing, participates in plant pathogen defense. However, there are few reports on its expression pattern or regulatory mechanism. To clarify how the Arabidopsis RDR1 gene is regulated at the transcriptional level in response to various stresses, its native 1,303 bp promoter sequence upstream of the translational start site and five truncated regions were inserted upstream of a fused reporter gene (β-glucuronidase-green fluorescent protein) in Arabidopsis. Histochemical staining and fluorescent signal detection revealed that AtRDR1 was expressed primarily in the plant vascular tissue system and its expression was specifically localized in phloem cell layers in roots. Stress experiments showed that the AtRDR1 promoter has a broad-spectrum response to various stresses and is sensitive to 1-naphthaleneacetic acid, abscisic acid, and salicylic acid. Analysis of promoter derivatives revealed that the −1,088 to −690 region was involved in auxin and dehydration responsiveness, that −690 to −434 was responsive to cold treatment, and the intron in the 5′-untranslated region (5′-UTR) responded to jasmonic acid molecules. The 5′-UTR intron was functional in transcript accumulation. Together, our findings suggest that AtRDR1-associated pathogen defense is conducted mainly in the plant vascular tissue system and is under complex regulation.

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Abscisic acid


Dicer-like enzyme


Differential interference contrast microscopy


Double-stranded RNA


Gibberellic acid


Green fluorescent protein




Jasmonic acid


Methyl jasmonate


1-Naphthaleneacetic acid


Open reading frame


RNA-dependent RNA polymerase


Salicylic acid


Small interfering RNAs


5′-Untranslated region


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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Number 31271801) and National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (Grant Number 2012AA10A306).

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Correspondence to Chunyi Zhang or Lei Wang.

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Xu, T., Zhang, L., Zhen, J. et al. Expressional and regulatory characterization of Arabidopsis RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 1. Planta 237, 1561–1569 (2013).

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  • Gene silencing
  • RNA-dependent RNA polymerase
  • RDR
  • Pathogen defense
  • Promoter deletion
  • Arabidopsis