The Solanum tuberosum KST1 partial promoter as a tool for guard cell expression in multiple plant species

Gilor Kelly, Nitsan Lugassi, Eduard Belausov, Dalia Wolf, Belal Khamaisi, Danja Brandsma, Jayaram Kottapalli, Lena Fidel, Batsheva Ben-Zvi, Aiman Egbaria, Atiako Kwame Acheampong, Chuanlin Zheng, Etti Or, Assaf Distelfeld, Rakefet David-Schwartz, Nir Carmi, David Granot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


To date, guard cell promoters have been examined in only a few species, primarily annual dicots. A partial segment of the potato (Solanum tuberosum) KST1 promoter (KST1 partial promoter, KST1 ppro) has previously been shown to confer guard cell expression in potato, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), citrus [Troyer citrange (C. sinensis×Poncirus trifoliata)], and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Here, we describe an extensive analysis of the expression pattern of KST1 ppro in eight (previously reported, as well as new) species from five different angiosperm families, including the Solanaceae and the Cucurbitaceae, Arabidopsis, the monocot barley (Hordeum vulgare), and two perennial species: grapevine (Vitis vinifera) and citrus. Using confocal imaging and three-dimensional movies, we demonstrate that KST1 ppro drives guard cell expression in all of these species, making it the first dicot-originated guard cell promoter shown to be active in a monocot and the first promoter reported to confer guard cell expression in barley and cucumber (Cucumis sativus). The results presented here indicate that KST1 ppro can be used to drive constitutive guard cell expression in monocots and dicots and in both annual and perennial plants. In addition, we show that the KST1 ppro is active in guard cells shortly after the symmetric division of the guard mother cell and generates stable expression in mature guard cells. This allows us to follow the spatial and temporal distribution of stomata in cotyledons and true leaves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2885-2897
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Confocal imaging
  • GFP
  • guard cell-specific promoters
  • KST1 promoter
  • stomata


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