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Open AccessArticle

The Artificial Promoter rMdAG2I Confers Flower-specific Activity in Malus

1
College of Horticulture, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
2
Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(18), 4551; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184551
Received: 13 August 2019 / Revised: 6 September 2019 / Accepted: 10 September 2019 / Published: 13 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Genetics and Molecular Breeding in Plants)
Genetic modifications of floral organs are important in the breeding of Malus species. Flower-specific promoters can be used to improve floral organs specifically, without affecting vegetative organs, and therefore developing such promoters is highly desirable. Here, we characterized two paralogs of the Arabidopsis thaliana gene AGAMOUS (AG) from Malus domestica (apple): MdAG1 and MdAG2. We then isolated the second-intron sequences for both genes, and created four artificial promoters by fusing each intron sequence to a minimal 35S promoter sequence in both the forward and reverse directions. When transferred into tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana) by Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated stable transformation, one promoter, rMdAG2I, exhibited activity specifically in flowers, whereas the other three also showed detectable activity in vegetative organs. A test of the four promoters’ activities in the ornamental species Malus micromalus by Agrobacterium-mediated transient transformation showed that, as in tobacco, only rMdAG2I exhibited a flower-specific expression pattern. Through particle bombardment transformation, we demonstrated that rMdAG2I also had flower-specific activity in the apple cultivar ‘Golden Delicious’. The flower-specific promoter rMdAG2I, derived from M. domestica, thus has great potential for use in improving the floral characteristics of ornamental plants, especially the Malus species. View Full-Text
Keywords: flower-specific promoter; Malus; AGAMOUS; intron flower-specific promoter; Malus; AGAMOUS; intron
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dong, H.; Liu, L.; Fan, X.; Asghar, S.; Li, Y.; Wang, Y.; Xu, X.; Wu, T.; Zhang, X.; Qiu, C.; Han, Z.; Li, W. The Artificial Promoter rMdAG2I Confers Flower-specific Activity in Malus. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 4551.

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