Volume 75 (2011) Issue 9 Pages 1796-1800
Because of their marked responsiveness to induction signals, genes encoding pathogenesis-related proteins are used as markers to monitor defense gene expression in plants. To develop a non-invasive bioluminescence reporter assay system, we tested acidic PR-1 gene promoters from tobacco and Arabidopsis. These two promoters share common regulatory elements and are believed to show similar responsiveness to various stimuli but the results of transient expression assays by microprojectile bombardment of various plant cells and npr1 mutant Arabidopsis suggest that the tobacco PR-1a promoter is superior to its Arabidopsis counterpart in terms of responsiveness to salicylic acid treatment. Transgenic Arabidopsis seedlings harboring the tobacco PR-1a promoter fused to firefly luciferase showed marked induction in response to treatment with chemicals that induce defense gene expression in plants. These results suggest that the tobacco PR-1a promoter is applicable in monitoring defense-gene expression in various plant species.