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Functional characterization of the Ginkgo biloba chalcone synthase gene promoter in transgenic tobacco

Author(s): L.L. Li, H. Cheng, H.H. Yuan, F. Xu, S.Y. Cheng and F.L. Cao

The regulative sequence (2273 bp) of the chalcone synthase gene promoter of biloba was cloned by genomic walking. A 2273-bp promoter 5' upstream translation start site of GbCHS was cloned and designated as GbCHSP. pBI121+CHSP:GUS and pBI121-35S:GUS were constructed and transformed into tobacco by LBA4404. We found that GbCHSP could drive transient expression of GUS in tobacco and differentially expressed in root, stem and leaf tissues of this plant. GUS activity regulated by the CHSP promoter were located in tissues (apical meristems) at the growing points of roots and stems. pBI121+CHSP:GUS could be induced by wounding, copper, UV-B, abscisic acid, and ethephon treatments of transgenic seedlings. This activity was weakly inhibited by gibberellin. Deletion analysis of the CHSP promoter in transgenic tobacco showed that CHSP1 complete promoter conferred a GUS expression and activity similar to that of 35 S(CaMV). GUS activity dropped dramatically when there were CHSP4, CHSP5 constructs and was almost totally absent when the CHSP6 construct was present. We conclude that the upstream sequence -1548 to -306 of GbCHSP is the main region for transcriptional regulation of the CHS gene and that it is activated by hormone and stress factors in G. biloba. These results will help us to understand the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms involved in GbCHS expression and flavonoid accumulation in G. biloba.