Sugarcane Loading Stem Gene promoters drive transgene expression preferentially in the stem
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Promoter regions of six sugarcane Loading Stem Gene (ScLSG) alleles were analyzed using bioinformatic and transgenic approaches. Stable transgene expression analyses, on multiple independent lines per construct, revealed differences between ScLSG promoters in absolute levels and in tissue-selectivity of luciferase reporter activity. Four promoters drove peak expression in the sucrose-loading zone and maintained substantial expression throughout mature stems. One drove a pattern of gradual increase along the stem maturation profile. In general, stem: root expression ratio increased with plant age. The ScLSG5 promoter had the fewest light-enhanced and root-expression motifs in bioinformatic analysis, and drove the highest level and specificity of transgene expression in stems. This indicates the potential to further improve the stem specificity of ScLSG promoter sequences by eliminating enhancers of expression in other tissues. An intron in the 5′UTR was important for expression strength. The ScLSG promoters will be useful for research and biotechnology in sugarcane, where the tailored expression of transgenes in stems is important for enhanced accumulation of sugar or value-added products, and for development as a bioenergy feedstock.
KeywordsSaccharum Stem-expressed promoter Stable transgene expression
The authors acknowledge the excellent technical assistance of Lilian Chou throughout this project. We thank BSES Limited for access to the Q200 BAC clone library. This research was supported through a collaboration between CSR Sugar Limited (Sucrogen) and The University of Queensland under the Australian Research Council’s Linkage scheme.
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