Predictable activation of tissue-specific expression from a single gene locus using the pOp/LhG4 transactivation system in Arabidopsis.
Baroux C., Blanvillain R., Betts H., Batoko H., Craft J., Martinez A., Gallois P., Moore I.
The pOp/LhG4 transcription factor system was used to determine whether the synthetic pOp promoter, integrated at one position in the Arabidopsis genome, could be efficiently and faithfully activated by the heterologous transcription factor, LhG4, expressed in a variety of different patterns. This is a precondition for the development and exploitation of large collections of LhG4 activation lines that direct predictable tissue-specific expression of transgenes. We selected a pOp-GUS reporter insertion that was efficiently activated after crossing to an activator line that expressed the synthetic transcription factor LhG4 from the Cauliflower Mosaic Virus 35S promoter. This reporter line, pOp-GUS(g2), was then combined with activator loci that expressed LhG4 from one of seven different promoters, each with a different tissue specificity. pOp-GUS(g2) was activated faithfully in combination with six of these seven activator constructs, but generated an unexpected expression pattern in combination with the seventh construct, a fusion to a cyclin promoter (CYC-LhG4). The aberrant expression pattern could be attributed to the pOp-GUS(g2) insertion site, as the CYC-LhG4 activator lines directed the expected pattern of expression from a second pOp-GUS insertion. These results show that it is feasible to construct an activator collection in which LhG4 is expressed from diverse promoters or enhancer traps, but that individual pOp reporter loci can vary in their competence to respond to certain activator patterns. We discuss the implications for the design and use of mis-expression technology in Arabidopsis.