Analysis of reporter proteins GUS and DsRed driven under the control of CaMV35S promoter in syncytia induced by beet cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii in Arabidopsis roots

Muhammad Amjad Ali, Amjad Abbas


Background: Cyst nematodes induce specialized feeding structures called syncytia in the plant roots. The expression of CaMV promoter in syncytia has remained topic of debate. The objective of this research was to study the activity of CaMV promoter by using reporter proteins like GUSand DsRed under the control of CaMV35S promoter in syncytia induced by H. schachtii in Arabidopsis roots.

Methods: pMAA-Red and pPZP3425 plasmids were used to study expression of GUS and DsRedin syncytia.  The plants were grown in 2% Knop medium under sterile conditions in growth chambers at 25°C in long day conditions. GUS activity in syncytia was studied through staining of syncytia using X-gluc solution. Ds-Red fluorescence in syncytia was detected by using an inverse microscope equipped with UV filter.

Results: The expression analysis of DsRed protein driven by CaMV promoter demonstrated that this promoter is active in syncytia at all the time points. All the syncytia showed DsRed expression at 5 dpi. At 7 dpi, 10 dpi and 15 dpi over 90%, 80% and 50% of the syncytia showed DsRedfluorescence respectively. There was very high fluorescence in the syncytia as compared to the uninfected root segments due to high expression. CaMV::GUS lines showed GUS expression in 80% of 5dpi syncytia. However, unlike expression of DsRed, the number of GUS stained syncytia decreased quickly to around 50% at 7 dpi and to about 5% in the 15 dpi syncytia.

Conclusions: The results conclude that CaMV promoter is more active in younger syncytia as compared to older syncytia but can be used for expression in syncytia. Moreover, DsRed protein could be used as better reporter for evaluation of gene expression in syncytia as compared to GUS.

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