The 35S promoter used in a selectable marker gene of a plant transformation vector affects the expression of the transgene

Yeon Yoo So, Kirsten Bomblies, Kwan Yoo Seung, Won Yang Jung, Suk Choi Mi, Seob Lee Jong, Detlef Weigel, Hoon Ahn Ji

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117 Citations (Scopus)


Positive selection of transgenic plants is essential during plant transformation. Thus, strong promoters are often used in selectable marker genes to ensure successful selection. Many plant transformation vectors, including pPZP family vectors, use the 35S promoter as a regulatory sequence for their selectable marker genes. We found that the 35S promoter used in a selectable marker gene affected the expression pattern of a transgene, possibly leading to a misinterpretation of the result obtained from transgenic plants. It is likely that the 35S enhancer sequence in the 35S promoter is responsible for the interference, as in the activation tagging screen. This affected expression mostly disappeared in transgenic plants generated using vectors without the 35S sequences within their T-DNA region. Therefore, we suggest that caution should be used in selecting a plant transformation vector and in the interpretation of the results obtained from transgenic approaches using vectors carrying the 35S promoter sequences within their T-DNA regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-530
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We are grateful to S.M. Hong for data collection. We thank J.H. Lee and J. Kim for their critical reading of the manuscript. S.Y. Yoo, S.K. Yoo and M.S. Choi were supported by the BK21 program. This work was supported by a grant from the Plant Signaling Network Research Center of the Korean Science and Engineering Foundation (to J.H.A.) and by a grant from Crop Functional Genomics Center (to J.H.A. and J.S.L.).


  • 35S enhancer
  • 35S promoter
  • Misexpression
  • Plant transformation vector
  • Trans activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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