Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #269503

Title: Characterization of a chalcone synthase (CHS) flower-specific promoter from Lilium orential 'Sorbonne'

item LIU, YALI - Northwest Agriculture And Forestry University
item LOU, QIAN - Northwest Agriculture And Forestry University
item XU, WEIRONG - Northwest Agriculture And Forestry University
item XIIN, YI - Northwest Agriculture And Forestry University
item Bassett, Carole
item WANG, YUEJIN - Northwest Agriculture And Forestry University

Submitted to: Plant Cell Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/6/2011
Publication Date: 7/29/2011
Citation: Liu, Y., Lou, Q., Xu, W., Xiin, Y., Bassett, C.L., Wang, Y. 2011. Characterization of a chalcone synthase (CHS) flower-specific promoter from Lilium orential 'Sorbonne'. Plant Cell Reports. 30:2187-2194.

Interpretive Summary: Manipulation of genes via genetic engineering (GE) to improve agricultural and horticultural crops offers an important alternative approach to traditional breeding. Although a number of crops have been successfully engineered for herbicide and insect resistance, these early GE crops utilized plant viral regulatory sequences, also known as promoters, to boost expression of the manipulated gene. However, the most commonly used viral promoter also causes expression unnecessarily in all parts of the plant. To achieve tighter control and provide better consumer appeal, current GE approaches aim to use promoters that only express genes in the part of the plant requiring expression. The current manuscript describes the isolation of a flower-specific promoter that could be used to prolong the life of cut flowers without expressing the manipulated gene in any other plant part. Such a promoter could also be used to develop cut flowers with different color varieties than are currently available from standard breeding. Thus, in the future, consumers will be able to choose interesting color classes of their favorite flowers that last longer in the vase.

Technical Abstract: The first enzyme in the flavonoid pathway, chalcone synthase, is encoded by a gene (CHS) whose expression is normally under developmental control. In previous studies, an 896 bp promoter region of a flower-specific CHS gene was isolated from Lilium orential ‘Sorbonne’ and designated as PLoCHS. Here, the PLoCHS promoter was fused to the B-glucuronidase (GUS) gene to characterize its spatial and temporal expression in Petunia hybrida ‘Dreams Midnight’ using an Agrobacterium-mediated leaf disc transformation method. Our results demonstrated that GUS expression was present in flowers, but reduced or absent in the other tissues (leaf and stem) examined. In petals, GUS activity reached its peak at flower developmental stage 4 and decreased at later stages. Deletion analysis indicated that even a 307- bp fragment of the PLoCHS promoter could still direct flower-specific expression. Further deletion of the region from -261 to -72 bp resulted in weak expression in different organs, including flowers, leaves and stems. This evidence, combined with prediction of cis-acting elements in the PLoCHS promoter, suggests that the TACPyAT box located in this promoter plays a key role in the regulation of organ-specific expression.