An optimal promoter is activated at high temperatures

Controlling expression of target genes via temperature

A joint research group involving RIKEN CSRS* carried out a comprehensive comparative analysis of features of the transcriptional regulatory region in four species–Arabidopsis, soybean, rice and maize. From this analysis, the researchers successfully created the first cis element (optimized DNA sequence) to activate at high temperatures. They also determined that the cis element in each of the test species included a characteristic sequence for the heat shock response element (HSE).

Because this designed cis element functions even in the presence of infrared laser irradiation, researchers were able to laser irradiate the desired cells (for example, stomatal cells) to express the target genes, thereby allowing researchers to analyze genes with specific functions in individual cells and to analyze intercellular interactions.

Research into optimal promoters that function specifically at high temperatures will be important not only in terms of basic biology but also for crop development in geographies where heat damage is a concern and for the development of value-added crops grown in controlled growing systems such as plant factories.

* Other joint research group members came from JIRCAS, NARO, Gifu University, Gifu Shotoku Gakuen University, Kochi University and the University of Tokyo.


Original article
The Plant Journal doi:10.1111/tpj.13420
K. Maruyama, T. Ogata, N. Kanamori, K. Yoshiwara, S. Goto, Y. Y. Yamamoto, Y. Tokoro, C. Noda, Y. Takaki, H. Urawa, S. Iuchi, K. Urano, T. Yoshida, T. Sakurai, M. Kojima, H. Sakakibara, K. Shinozaki, K. Yamaguchi-Shinozaki,
"Design of an optimal promoter involved in the heat-induced transcriptional pathway in Arabidopsis, soybean, rice, and maize".

Kazuo Shinozaki
Group Director
Gene Discovery Research Group