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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #219200

Title: Luciferase as a reporter of gene activity in plants

item Velten, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/20/2008
Publication Date: 4/20/2008
Citation: Velten, J.P., Pogson, B.J., Cazzonelli, C. 2008. Luciferase as a reporter of gene activity in plants. Transgenic Plant Journal. 2(1):1-3.

Interpretive Summary: The us of luciferase reporters in plants has been a very successful tool, especially for exploring the different aspects of gene regulation and signal transduction. This report decribes the numerous uses of luciferase-based reporter systems in plants and some of the important breakthroughs that have resulted.

Technical Abstract: Since their development and introduction in the early days of plant genetic engineering, reporter genes have established a proven track record as effective tools for exploring the molecular underpinnings of gene regulation. When driven by appropriate genetic control systems (e.g. transcriptional promoters), an archetype reporter gene produces a product that is easily, accurately, and uniquely assayable within diverse biochemical environments. Moreover, a reporter’s signal should precisely reflect the current level of gene expression, accurately indicating the tissue and/or cellular location, as well as any developmental or chronological timing of gene activity. To date, several reporter systems have been found to meet the majority of these criteria and have served as the primary workhorses for plant reporter gene research. Luciferase reporters combine the high sensitivity and accurate quantification of GUS with the non-destructive delectability of GFP. The relative ease of in situ detection and rapid turnover of firefly luciferase have made it an especially successful tool for mutant screening in the model plant genetic system, Arabidopsis. Additionally, the biochemical characteristics of different luciferases have allowed their use as in situ indicators of metabolic activity and oxygen levels, as well as direct indicators of in vivo protein-protein interaction. The numerous uses of luciferase-based reporter systems in plants will be the subject of this article.