The commelina yellow mottle virus promoter is a strong promoter in vascular and reproductive tissues

Scott L. Medberry, B. E.L. Lockhart, Neil E. Olszewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Commelina yellow mottle virus (CoYMV) is a double-stranded DNA virus that infects the monocot Commelina diffusa. Although CoYMV and cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV; another double-stranded DNA virus) probably replicate by a similar mechanism, the particle morphology and host range of CoYMV place it in a distinct group. We present evidence that a promoter fragment isolated from CoYMV confers a tissue-specific pattern of expression that is different from that conferred by the CaMV 35S promoter. When the CoYMV promoter is used to drive expression of the β-glucuronidase reporter gene in stably transformed tobacco plants, β-glucuronidase activity occurs primarily in the phloem, the phloem-associated cells, and the axial parenchyma of roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. Activity is also detected throughout the anther, with highest activity in the tapetum. In contrast, the CaMV 35S promoter is active in most cell types. The CoYMV promoter is a strong promoter, and when the activity of the CoYMV promoter is compared with that of a duplicated CaMV 35S promoter, it is 30% as active in tobacco suspension cells and up to 25% as active in maize suspension cells. These properties of the CoYMV promoter make it potentially useful for high-level expression of engineered genes in vascular cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-192
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1992


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