Transgenic analysis of sugar beet xyloglucan endo-transglucosylase/hydrolase Bv-XTH1 and Bv-XTH2 promoters reveals overlapping tissue-specific and wound-inducible expression profiles.
The identification and analysis of tissue-specific gene regulatory elements will improve our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms that control the growth and development of different plant tissues and offer potentially useful tools for the genetic engineering of plants. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based 5′-genome walk from sequences of an isolated sugar beet xyloglucan endo-transglucosylase hydrolase (XTH) gene led to the isolation of two independent upstream fragments. They were 1332 and 2163 base pairs upstream of the XTH ATG start site, respectively. In vivo transgenic assays in sugar beet hairy roots and Arabidopsis thaliana revealed that both fragments had promoter function and, in A. thaliana, directed expression in vascular tissues within the root, leaves and petals. Promoter activity was also observed in the leaf trichomes and within rapidly expanding stem internodes. Expression driven by both promoters was found to be wound inducible. Overall, the spatial and temporal expression pattern of these promoters suggested that the corresponding Bv-XTH genes (designated Bv-XTH1 and Bv-XTH2) may be involved in secondary cell wall formation. This work provides new insights on molecular mechanisms that could be exploited for the genetic engineering of sugar beet crops