A common feature of the membrane lipids of higher plants is a large content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which typically consist of dienoic and trienoic fatty acids. Two types of ω-3 fatty acid desaturase, which are present in the plastids and in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), respectively, are responsible for the conversion of dienoic to trienoic fatty acids. To establish a system for investigating the tissue-specific, and hormone-regulated expression of the ER-type desaturase gene (FAD3), transgenic plants of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. containing the firefly luciferase gene (LUC) fused to the FAD3 promoter (FAD3::LUC) were constructed. At different times during plant development, FAD3::LUC was actively expressed at two major sites, the vegetative shoot meristem and the floral organs. Transgenic plants with LUC fused to the promoter of FAD7 (FAD7::LUC) which encodes plastid-type desaturase, were also constructed. FAD3::LUC and FAD7::LUC were expressed in the same organs during reproductive growth, but not during vegetative growth. In plants exposed to both auxin and cytokinin, FAD3::LUC expression was ectopically induced in the root tissues. However, this induction by auxin and cytokinin was inhibited when abscisic acid was also present. FAD3::LUC expression could be induced in the roots by auxin and cytokinin if the hormones were applied during vegetative growth, but not if they were applied during germination or reproductive growth. Analysis of the fatty acid composition in the roots of Arabidopsis fad mutant and wild-type plants confirmed that the response of FAD3::LUC expression to various hormones reflected the response of endogenous FAD3 gene expression. These results suggest that the expression of ER-type desaturase is regulated through synergistic and antagonistic hormonal interactions, and that such hormonal regulation and the tissue specificity of the expression of this gene are further modified in accordance with the growth phase in plant development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science