A –308 deletion of the tomato LAP promoters is able to direct flower-specific and MeJA-induced expression in transgenic plants

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Tomato and potato leucine aminopeptidase (LAP) mRNAs are induced in response to mechanical wounding and the wound signal molecules, ABA and jasmonic acid. Here, we report the isolation of two LAP genes, LAP17.1A and LAP17.2, from tomato. Functional analysis in transgenic tomato and potato plants show that fusions of the corresponding 5′ non-coding regions to the gusA gene are constitutively expressed in flowers and induced in leaves upon wounding or by treatment with methyl jasmonate (MeJA). Comparison of the 5′ non-coding regions of the two genes revealed a region from −317 to −3 relative to the ATG, which is strongly conserved in both promoters. This 0.3 kb proximal promoter fragment is sufficient to direct flower-specific and MeJA-inducible GUS activity in transgenic potato plants, and thus contains a MeJA-responsive element that mediates induction by MeJA. Dimeric TGACG motifs or G-box elements similar to those found in other MeJA-inducible genes are not observed in this region, which suggests that a different DNA sequence is involved in MeJA induction of the LAP genes.

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