Activation tagging is a powerful tool to identify new mutants and to obtain information about possible biological functions of the overexpressed genes. The quadruple cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S enhancer fragment is a strong enhancer, which is most commonly used for this purpose. However, the constitutive nature of this enhancer may generate lethal mutations or aberrations in different plant organs by the same overexpressed gene. A tissue-specific activation tagging approach may overcome these drawbacks and may also lead more efficiently to the desired phenotype. For this reason the SHATTERPROOF2 (SHP2) promoter fragment was analysed for enhancer activity. The SHP2 gene is involved in dehiscence zone development and expressed during silique development. The aim of the experiments described here was to identify a dehiscence zone specific enhancer that could be used for tissue-specific activation tagging. The chosen SHP2 enhancer fragment was found to be expressed predominantly in the dehiscence zone and showed enhancer activity as well as ectopic expression activity. This activity was not influenced by its orientation towards the promoter and it was still functional at the largest tested distance of 2.0 kb. Based on these results, the SHP2 enhancer fragment can potentially be used in a tissue-specific activation tagging approach to identify new Arabidopsis mutants with an altered dehiscence zone formation.
- mads-box genes