Sucrose-regulated expression of a chimeric potato tuber gene in leaves of transgenic tobacco plants. Academic Article uri icon


  • Patatin is a family of lipid acyl hydrolases that accounts for 30 to 40% of the total soluble protein in potato tubers. Class-I patatin genes encode 98 to 99% of the patatin mRNA in tubers, but are not normally expressed in other tissues. They are not totally 'tuber-specific'; however, since they can be induced to express at high levels in other tissues under conditions of sink limitation or in explants cultured on medium containing elevated levels of sucrose. To examine the evolution of the mechanisms that regulate patatin gene expression, we introduced a chimeric patatin-beta-glucuronidase (GUS) gene containing 2.5 kb of 5' flanking sequence from the Class-I potato patatin gene PS20 into tobacco plants. The construct was not expressed at significant levels in leaves of juvenile plants or plantlets cultured in vitro, but was expressed at high levels in explants cultured on medium containing 0.3 to 0.4 M sucrose. While there were differences in the expression of the chimeric gene between transgenic tobacco and potato plants, the pattern of sucrose induction was very similar. These results suggest that the mechanism that controls patatin gene expression in potato tubers evolved from a widely distributed mechanism in which gene expression is regulated by the level of available photosynthate.

published proceedings

  • Plant Mol Biol

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Wenzler, H., Mignery, G., Fisher, L., & Park, W.

citation count

  • 84

complete list of authors

  • Wenzler, H||Mignery, G||Fisher, L||Park, W

publication date

  • October 1989