In order to obtain a tuberous root-specific promoter to be used in the transformation of cassava, a 1,728 bp sequence containing the cassava granule-bound starch synthase (GBSSI) promoter was isolated. The sequence proved to contain light- and sugar-responsive cis elements. Part of this sequence (1,167 bp) was cloned into binary vectors to drive expression of the firefly luciferase gene. Cassava cultivar Adira 4 was transformed with this construct or a control construct in which the luciferase gene was cloned behind the 35S promoter. Luciferase activity was measured in leaves, stems, roots and tuberous roots. As expected, the 35S promoter induced luciferase activity in all organs at similar levels, whereas the GBSSI promoter showed very low expression in leaves, stems and roots, but very high expression in tuberous roots. These results show that the cassava GBSSI promoter is an excellent candidate to achieve tuberous root-specific expression in cassava.
- storage roots