A comprehensive toolkit for inducible, cell type-specific gene expression in Arabidopsis (Plant Physiol)

Gene knock-outs and overexpression studies are useful indicators of gene function, but can obscure the gene’s distinct cell-type specific functions. Schürholz and Lopez-Salmeron et al. have developed a set of constructs that allow for precise expression of a gene-of-interest in subsets of cells, accompanied by a fluorescent marker. This system involves “driver” and “effector” lines. The driver lines carry a cassette with two constructs: one construct that consists of a tissue-specific promoter driving expression of a synthetic transcription factor (GR-LhG4) that, in the presence of dexamethasone translocates into the nucleus to switch on transcription, and the other construct that consists of a synthetic promoter responsive to Gr-LhG4 driving expression of the flurorescent reporter mTurquoise. The effector lines carry this same Gr-LhG4-responsive promoter driving expression of the gene-of-interest. By crossing driver and effector lines, the resulting plants express cell-specific, labelled patterns of effector expression. The resulting plant lines are DNA constructs are available from the authors. (Summary by Mary Williams) Plant Physiol. 10.1104/pp.18.00463