Tissue-specific expression in transgenic maize of four endosperm promoters from maize and rice

Douglas A. Russell, Michael E. Fromm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The tissue-specific, developmental, and genetic control of four endosperm-active genes was studied via expression of GUS reporter genes in transgenic maize plants. The transgenes included promoters from the maize grannule-bound starch synthase (Waxy) gene (zmGBS), a maize 27 kDa vein gene (zmZ27), a rice small subunit ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylate gene (osAGP) and the rice glutelin 1 gene (osGTI). Most plants had a transgene expression profile similar to that of the endogenous gene: expression in the pollen and endosperm for the zmGBS transgene, and endosperm only for the others. Histological analysis indicated expression initiated at the periphery of the endosperm form zmGBS, zmZ27 and osGT1, while osAGP transgene activity tended to start in the lower portion of the seed. Transgene expression at the RNA level was proportional to GUS activity, and did not influence endogenous gene expression. Genetic analysis showed that there was a positive dosage response with most line. Activity of the zmGBS transgenic was threefold higher in a low starch (shrunken2) genetic background. This effect was not seen with zmZ27 or osGT1 transgenes. The expression of the transgenes is discussed relative to the known behaviour of the endogenous genes, and the developmental programme of the maize endosperm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-168
Number of pages12
JournalTransgenic Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997


  • endosperm
  • expression
  • maize
  • transgenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics


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