Nilsson O, Little CHA, Sandberg G, Olsson O
Expression of two heterologous promoters, Agrobacterium rhizogenes rolC and cauliflower mosaic virus 35S, in the stem of transgenic hybrid aspen plants during the annual cycle of growth and dormancy
Plant Molecular Biology: 1996 31:887-895
We monitored, for the first time, the activity of two model heterologous promoters, the Agrobacterium rhizogenes rolC and the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S, throughout the annual cycle of growth and dormancy in a perennial species, hybrid aspen. Each promoter was fused to the uidA beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene and the constructs were introduced into the hybrid aspen genome by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Both wild type and transgenic plants were cultivated under different regimes of photoperiod and temperature to induce passage through one growth-dormancy-reactivation cycle, and at intervals GUS staining was assessed in stem sections. In rolC::uidA transformants, GUS activity in rapidly growing current-year shoots was not only tissue specific, being localized to the phloem, but also cell-specific at the shoot base, where it was present only in the companion cells. However, during the onset of dormancy induced by short photoperiod, GUS activity shifted laterally from the phloem to include the cortex and pith. After subsequent exposure to chilling temperatures to induce the transition between the dormancy stages of rest and quiescence, GUS activity almost disappeared from all stem tissues, but regained its original phloem specificity and intensity after the shoots were reactivated by exposing them to long photoperiod and high temperatures. In contrast, GUS activity in the stem of 35S::uidA transformants was strong in all tissues except for the vascular cambium and xylem, and did not vary in intensity during the growth-dormancy-reactivation cycle. The lateral shift and increased intensity of GUS activity in the stem of rolC::uidA transformants during dormancy induction was shown to be associated with the accumulation of starch, and to be mimicked by incubating stem sections in sucrose, as well as glucose and fructose, but not sorbitol, prior to the GUS assay. Our results demonstrate that the activities of the rolC and 35S promoters varied in very different, unpredictable ways during the annual cycle of growth and dormancy in a perennial species, and indicate that the spatial and temporal variation in rolC promoter activity that we observed in the stem of transgenic hybrid aspen plants is attributable to cellular and seasonal changes in sucrose content.
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