Rice green tissue promoter identified
A newly identified tissue-specific promoter gene can be used to limit the expression of transgenes in rice to green tissue only, avoiding the possibility of producing side effects in non-target tissues. The promoter, dubbed Leaf Panicle 2 (LP2), is highly responsive to light and was identified by researchers from the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s crop improvement unit in Albany, California. Experiments using rice plants transformed with the promoter linked to a reporter gene found that expression levels of the gene were highest in leaf tissue, and virtually undetectable in root, seed and flower tissues. The researchers note that the specificity and strength of the LP2 promoter will be useful to control transgene expression in rice and potentially other plants by enabling leaf-specific expression of traits. Results of the research were published in the US Plant Biotechnology Journal.