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Overexpression and cosuppression of xylem‐related genes in an early xylem differentiation stage‐specific manner by the AtTED4 promoter

Endo, Satoshi, Iwamoto, Kuninori, Fukuda, Hiroo
Plant biotechnology journal 2018 v.16 no.2 pp. 451-458
Arabidopsis, RNA interference, biomass, gain-of-function mutation, gene overexpression, phenotype, promoter regions, transgenes, xylem
Tissue‐specific overexpression of useful genes, which we can design according to their cause‐and‐effect relationships, often gives valuable gain‐of‐function phenotypes. To develop genetic tools in woody biomass engineering, we produced a collection of Arabidopsis lines that possess chimeric genes of a promoter of an early xylem differentiation stage‐specific gene, Arabidopsis Tracheary Element Differentiation‐related 4 (AtTED4) and late xylem development‐associated genes, many of which are uncharacterized. The AtTED4 promoter directed the expected expression of transgenes in developing vascular tissues from young to mature stage. Of T2 lines examined, 42%, 49% and 9% were judged as lines with the nonrepeat type insertion, the simple repeat type insertion and the other repeat type insertion of transgenes. In 174 T3 lines, overexpression lines were confirmed for 37 genes, whereas only cosuppression lines were produced for eight genes. The AtTED4 promoter activity was high enough to overexpress a wide range of genes over wild‐type expression levels, even though the wild‐type expression is much higher than AtTED4 expression for several genes. As a typical example, we investigated phenotypes of pAtTED4::At5g60490 plants, in which both overexpression and cosuppression lines were included. Overexpression but not cosuppression lines showed accelerated xylem development, suggesting the positive role of At5g60490 in xylem development. Taken together, this study provides valuable results about behaviours of various genes expressed under an early xylem‐specific promoter and about usefulness of their lines as genetic tools in woody biomass engineering.