Sequences responsible for the tissue specific promoter activity of a pea legumin gene in tobacco

Mol Gen Genet. 1989 Jan;215(2):326-31. doi: 10.1007/BF00339737.


Maturing pea cotyledons accumulate large quantities of storage proteins at a specific time in seed development. To examine the sequences responsible for this regulated expression, a series of deletion mutants of the legA major seed storage protein gene were made and transferred to tobacco using the Bin19 disarmed Agrobacterium vector system. A promoter sequence of 97 bp including the CAAT and TATA boxes was insufficient for expression. Expression was first detected in a construct with 549 bp of upstream flanking sequence which contained the the leg box element, a 28 bp conserved sequence found in the legumin-type genes of several legume species. Constructs containing -833 and -1203 bp of promoter sequence significantly increased levels of expression. All expressing constructs preserved seed specificity and temporal regulation. The results indicate that promoter sequences between positions -97 and -549 bp are responsible for promoter activity, seed specificity, and temporal regulation of the pea legA gene. Sequences between positions -549 and -1203 bp appear to function as enhancer-like elements, to increase expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Chromosome Deletion
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fabaceae / genetics
  • Genes*
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins*
  • Plant Proteins, Dietary / analysis
  • Plant Proteins, Dietary / genetics*
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Plants, Toxic
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Tobacco / genetics


  • Plant Proteins
  • Plant Proteins, Dietary
  • legumin protein, plant