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The promoter of the AlSAP gene from the halophyte grass Aeluropus littoralis directs a stress-inducible expression pattern in transgenic rice plants

Ben-Saad R., Meynard D., Ben Romdhane W., Mieulet D., Verdeil J.L., Al-Doss A., Guiderdoni E., Hassairi A.. 2015. Plant Cell Reports, 34 (10) : p. 1791-1806.

DOI: 10.1007/s00299-015-1825-6

We previously showed that ectopic expression of a stress-associated protein gene from Aeluropus littoralis (AlSAP) enhances tolerance to multiple abiotic stresses in tobacco, wheat and rice. The ortholog of AlSAP in rice is OsSAP9. Here, we demonstrate that AlSAP transcripts accumulate in Aeleuropus in response to multiple abiotic stresses and at a higher level in roots, while those of OsSAP9 are preferentially induced by cold and heat treatments and accumulate preferentially in leaves of rice. In silico analysis of the AlSAP promoter ¿Pr AlSAP ¿ predicted several cis-acting elements responsible for gene regulation by dehydration, salt, heat, ABA, SA, wounding and tissue-specific expression. The Pr AlSAP promoter was fused to the gusA gene and used to produce transgenic rice plants. Transcripts of gusA exhibited similar accumulation patterns in transgenic rice as AlSAP transcripts in A. littoralis. Indeed, accumulation of gusA transcripts was higher in roots than in leaves and induced by salt, drought, cold and heat treatments. GUS activity was confirmed in roots, coleoptiles, leaves and glumes, but absent in the root cell elongation zone and in dry seeds. A wound treatment strongly induced GUS accumulation in leaves and imbibed seeds. Altogether, these results indicate that the regulatory regions of two ortholog genes ¿AlSAP¿ and ¿OsSAP9¿ have diverged in the specificity of the signals promoting their induction, but that the trans-acting elements allowing the correct spatiotemporal regulation and stress induction of Pr AlSAP exist in rice. Therefore, the AlSAP promoter appears to be an interesting candidate for engineering abiotic stress tolerance in cereals. (Texte intégral)

Mots-clés : oryza sativa; expression des gènes; transfert de gène; plante transgénique; stress abiotique; génie génétique; physiologie végétale; tolérance au sel; tolérance à la sécheresse; tunisie; japon; france; arabie saoudite; aeluropus littoralis

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