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Summary

To investigate developmental regulation of wheat histone H3 gene expression, the H3 promoter, which has its upstream sequence to −1711 (relative to the cap site as +1), was fused to the coding region of the gus A gene (−1711H3/GUS) and introduced into a monocot plant, rice. Detailed histochemical analysis revealed two distinct types of GUS expression in transgenic rice plants; one is cell division-dependent found in the apical meristem of shoots and roots and in young leaves, and another is cell division-independent detected in flower tissues including the anther wall and the pistil. In this study, replication-dependent expression occurring in non-dividing cells which undergo endoreduplication could not be discriminated from strict replication-independent expression. The observed expression pattern in different parts of roots suggested that the level of the H3/GUS gene expression is well correlated with activity of cell division in roots. To identify 5′ sequences of the H3 promoter necessary for an accurate regulation of the GUS expression, two constructs containing truncated promoters, −908H3/GUS and −185H3/GUS, were analyzed in transiently expressed protoplasts, stably transformed calli and transgenic plants. The results indicated that the region from −909 to −1711 contains the positive cis-acting element(s) and that the proximal promoter region (up to −185) containing the conserved hexamer, octamer and nonamer motifs is sufficient to direct both cell division-dependent and -independent expression. The use of the meristem of roots regenerated from transformed calli for the analysis of cell division-dependent expression of plant genes is discussed.