A cis-regulatory module activating transcription in the suspensor contains five cis-regulatory elements

Kelli F. Henry, Tomokazu Kawashima, Robert B. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Little is known about the molecular mechanisms by which the embryo proper and suspensor of plant embryos activate specific gene sets shortly after fertilization. We analyzed the upstream region of the Scarlet Runner Bean (Phaseolus coccineus) G564 gene in order to understand how genes are activated specifically in the suspensor during early embryo development. Previously, we showed that a 54-bp fragment of the G564 upstream region is sufficient for suspensor transcription and contains at least three required cis-regulatory sequences, including the 10-bp motif (5′-GAAAAGCGAA-3′), the 10 bp-like motif (5′-GAAAAACGAA-3′), and Region 2 motif (partial sequence 5′-TTGGT-3′). Here, we use site-directed mutagenesis experiments in transgenic tobacco globular-stage embryos to identify two additional cis-regulatory elements within the 54-bp cis-regulatory module that are required for G564 suspensor transcription: the Fifth motif (5′-GAGTTA-3′) and a third 10-bp-related sequence (5′-GAAAACCACA-3′). Further deletion of the 54-bp fragment revealed that a 47-bp fragment containing the five motifs (the 10-bp, 10-bp-like, 10-bp-related, Region 2 and Fifth motifs) is sufficient for suspensor transcription, and represents a cis-regulatory module. A consensus sequence for each type of motif was determined by comparing motif sequences shown to activate suspensor transcription. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that the regulation of G564 is evolutionarily conserved. A homologous cis-regulatory module was found upstream of the G564 ortholog in the Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), indicating that the regulation of G564 is evolutionarily conserved in closely related bean species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-217
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 26 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, The Author(s).


  • Cis-regulatory elements
  • Gene regulatory network
  • Phaseolus coccineus
  • Promoter analysis
  • Scarlet runner bean
  • Suspensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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