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The promoter of the cereal VERNALIZATION1 gene is sufficient for transcriptional induction by prolonged cold

AuthorsAlonso-Peral, María M.; Oliver, Sandra N.; Casao Acerete, Cristina CSIC; Greenup, Aaron A.; Trevaskis, Ben
Cell nucleus
controlled study
gene expression
gene induction
genetic transcription
green fluorescent protein gene
low temperature
nucleotide sequence
plant gene
transgenic plant
Hordeum vulgare
Issue Date29-Dec-2011
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationAlonso-Peral MM, Oliver SN, Casao MC, Greenup AA, Trevaskis B. The promoter of the cereal VERNALIZATION1 gene is sufficient for transcriptional induction by prolonged cold. Plos One 6 (12): e29456 (2011)
AbstractThe VERNALIZATION1 (VRN1) gene of temperate cereals is transcriptionally activated by prolonged cold during winter (vernalization) to promote flowering. To investigate the mechanisms controlling induction of VRN1 by prolonged cold, different regions of the VRN1 gene were fused to the GREEN FLUORESCENT PROTEIN (GFP) reporter and expression of the resulting gene constructs was assayed in transgenic barley (Hordeum vulgare). A 2 kb segment of the promoter of VRN1 was sufficient for GFP expression in the leaves and shoot apex of transgenic barley plants. Fluorescence increased at the shoot apex prior to inflorescence initiation and was subsequently maintained in the developing inflorescence. The promoter was also sufficient for low-temperature induction of GFP expression. A naturally occurring insertion in the proximal promoter, which is associated with elevated VRN1 expression and early flowering in some spring wheats, did not abolish induction of VRN1 transcription by prolonged cold, however. A translational fusion of the promoter and transcribed regions of VRN1 to GFP, VRN1::GFP, was localised to nuclei of cells at the shoot apex of transgenic barley plants. The distribution of VRN1::GFP at the shoot apex was similar to the expression pattern of the VRN1 promoter-GFP reporter gene. Fluorescence from the VRN1::GFP fusion protein increased in the developing leaves after prolonged cold treatment. These observations suggest that the promoter of VRN1 is targeted by mechanisms that trigger vernalization-induced flowering in economically important temperate cereal crops.
Description9 Pag., 8 Fig. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029456
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