Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The abscisic acid-responsive gene rab17 is induced during maize embryo maturation and in vegetative tissues under water stress conditions. To investigate how ABA is involved in the induction of the rab17 gene, we present here a genetic approach to analyse the transcriptional regulation of the 1.3 kb rab17 promoter fragment in transgenic wild-type Arabidopsis and mutants which are deficient (aba) and insensitive (abi1, abi2 and abi3) to ABA. During seed development the rab17 promoter fragment confers similar temporal and spatial regulation on the reporter gene GUS, both in transgenic wild-type and ABA-deficient and ABA-insensitive mutants. The rab17 promoter was only active in embryo and endosperm during late seed development, although the ABA-deficient embryo mutant showed a reduction in the level of GUS activity. During germination rab17 promoter activity decreases, and GUS activity is not enhanced by water stress in transgenic wild-type and mutant plants. In contrast, transcription of the Arabidopsis endogenous rab gene is stimulated by water stress, both in wild-type and ABA-insensitive mutants. Our data suggest that different molecular mechanisms mediate seed-specific expression and ABA water stress induction of the rab17 gene and indicate strong conservation of the seed-specific regulatory mechanism for rab genes in monocot and dicot plants.
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