A short synthetic MAR positively affects transgene expression in rice and Arabidopsis

A.H.M. van der Geest, M.E. Welter, A.T. Woosley, D.R. Pareddy, S.E. Pavelko, M. Skokut, W.M. Ainley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Matrix Attachment Regions (MARs) are DNA elements that are thought to influence gene expression by anchoring active chromatin domains to the nuclear matrix. When flanking a construct in transgenic plants, MARs could be useful for enhancing transgene expression. Naturally occurring MARs have a number of sequence features and DNA elements in common, and using different subsets of these sequence elements, three independent synthetic MARs were created. Although short, these MARs were able to bind nuclear scaffold preparations with an affinity equal to or greater than naturally occurring plant MARs. One synthetic MAR was extensively tested for its effect on transgene expression, using different MAR orientations, plant promoters, transformation methods and plant species. This MAR was able to increase average transgene expression and produced integration patterns of lower complexity. These data show the potential of making well defined synthetic MARs and using them to improve transgene expression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-26
JournalPlant Biotechnology Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • matrix attachment regions
  • dna-binding-protein
  • nuclear-matrix
  • gene-expression
  • tobacco plants
  • chromatin domains
  • plastocyanin gene
  • sequence element
  • high-affinity
  • maize

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