Multiple regulatory elements contribute to the vascular-specific expression of the rice HD-Zip gene Oshox1 in Arabidopsis

Enrico Scarpella, Erik J Simons, Annemarie H Meijer
Plant & Cell Physiology 2005, 46 (8): 1400-10
The primary vascular tissues of plants differentiate from a single precursor tissue, the procambium. The role of upstream regulatory sequences in the transcriptional control of early vascular-specific gene expression is largely unknown. The onset of expression of the rice homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) gene Oshox1 marks procambial cells that have acquired their distinctive anatomical features but do not yet display any overt signs of terminal vascular differentiation. The expression pattern of Oshox1 in rice appears to be mainly controlled by the activity of the 1.6 kb upstream promoter region. Here, we show that the Oshox1 promoter directs vascular, auxin- and sucrose-responsive reporter gene expression in Arabidopsis plants in a fashion comparable with that in rice. This is the case not only during normal development but also upon experimental manipulation, suggesting that the cis-acting regulatory elements that are instrumental in Oshox1 expression pattern are conserved between rice and Arabidopsis. Finally, through analysis of reporter gene expression profiles conferred by progressive 5' deletions of the Oshox1 promoter in transgenic Arabidopsis, we have identified upstream regulatory regions required for auxin and sucrose inducibility, and for cell type-, tissue- and organ-specific aspects of Oshox1 expression. Our study suggests that Oshox1 embryonic vascular expression is mainly achieved through suppression of expression in non-vascular tissues.

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