Expression of photosynthesis gene-promoter fusions in leaf epidermal cells of transgenic tobacco plants


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Fusions of the promoter regions of the pea plasto-cyanin, pea ferredoxin: NADP+ reductase and tobacco rbcS genes to the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene have been introduced into tobacco via Agro-bacterium-mediated transformation, and epidermal peels of the lower leaf surface of tissue-cultured and greenhouse-grown plants examined histochemically for GUS activity. For each of the constructs, GUS was detected in epidermal cells as well as in stomatal guard cells. Epidermal peels from plants in tissue culture stained more readily than those from greenhouse-grown plants. Light and electron microscopy clearly demonstrated the presence of chloroplasts in epidermal cells of tobacco leaves. These results provide further evidence for the correlation between the presence of chloroplasts and the expression of nuclear genes for photosynthesis components.