Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Plant Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Characterization of a set of novel meiotically-active promoters in Arabidopsis

Junhua Li13, Andrew D Farmer2, Ingrid E Lindquist2, Stefanie Dukowic-Schulze1, Joann Mudge2, Tao Li1, Ernest F Retzel2* and Changbin Chen1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, 1970 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, MN, 55108, USA

2 National Center for Genome Resources, 2935 Rodeo Park Drive E, Santa Fe, NM, 87505, USA

3 College of Life Sciences, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, Henan, 453007, China

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Plant Biology 2012, 12:104  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-104

Published: 9 July 2012

Abstract

Background

Homologous recombination, together with selection, laid the foundation for traditional plant breeding. The recombination process that takes place during meiotic cell division is crucial for the creation of novel variations of highly desired traits by breeders. Gaining control over this process is important for molecular breeding to achieve more precise, large-scale and quicker plant improvement. As conventional ubiquitous promoters are neither tissue-specific nor efficient in driving gene expression in meiocytes, promoters with high meiotic activities are potential candidates for manipulating the recombination process. So far, only a few meiotically-active promoters have been reported. Recently developed techniques to profile the transcriptome landscape of isolated meiocytes provided the means to discover promoters from genes that are actively expressed in meiosis.

Results

In a screen for meiotically-active promoters, we examined ten promoter sequences that are associated with novel meiotic candidate genes. Each promoter was tested by expressing a GFP reporter gene in Arabidopsis. Characterization of regulatory regions revealed that these meiotically-active promoters possessed conserved motifs and motif arrangement. Some of the promoters unite optimal properties which are invaluable for meiosis-directed studies such as delivering specific gene expression in early meiosis I and/or meiosis II. Furthermore, the examination of homologs of the corresponding genes within green plants points to a great potential of applying the information from Arabidopsis to other species, especially crop plants.

Conclusions

We identified ten novel meiotically-active promoters; which, along with their homologs, are prime candidates to specifically drive gene expression during meiosis in plants and can thus provide important tools for meiosis study and crop breeding.

Keywords:
Meiosis; Homologous recombination; Promoter; GFP; cis-regulatory elements; Plant molecular breeding