Acute but not chronic exposure to abiotic stress results in transient reduction of expression levels of the transgene driven by the 35S promoter
The transgenic plant performance depends on the stable expression of the integrated transgene. In this paper, we have analyzed the stability of the most frequently used constitutive promoter, the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter. We used several independent Nicotiana tabacum lines transgenic for the luciferase (LUC) or green fluorescence protein (GFP) coding genes driven by the same 35S promoter. As an indication of the expression level, we measured the steady state RNA level, protein level and protein activity. Exposure of plants to an acute single dose of UVC, UVB or X-ray radiation resulted in a decrease of the transgene expression level, whereas exposure to high temperature increased it. In most of the cases, the expression changed at one to two hours post exposure and returned to normal at four hours. By contrast, plants germinated and grown in the presence of a low dose of either UVB radiation or CuSO4 for two weeks did not show any changes in expression level. We conclude that although the expression level of the transgenes driven by the 35S promoter can be transiently altered by the acute exposure, no substantial changes occur upon constant low exposure.
Journal: New Biotechnology - Volume 27, Issue 1, 28 February 2010, Pages 70–77