Expression of the Zinnia TED3 promoter in developing tracheary elements of transgenic Arabidopsis

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To determine the regulatory mechanism of gene expression in the early stages of tracheary element (TE) differentiation, we isolated and characterized a genomic fragment of TED3 whose mRNA is expressed preferentially in differentiating TEs 12–24 h before morphological changes in the in vitro Zinnia system. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants with a chimeric gene of the 537 bp TED3 promoter and the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene indicated the strong expression of the GUS gene by the TED3 promoter in TEs, in particular in immature TEs as well as stipules and trichomes. GUS expression driven by the promoter was also induced in callus, in which GUS activity was localized in immature TEs and slender cells around TEs that may be TE precursor cells. The TED3 promoter was not significantly activated by wounding. This pattern of expression differed clearly from that of other vascular tissue-related genes such as PAL, 4CL, and GRP1.8. The nature of TED3 promoter enables us to use it to monitor TE differentiation in tissue and to introduce foreign genes preferentially into immature TE.

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