An upstream region isolated from a eukaryotic algal virus adenine methyltransferase gene was tested for promoter function in plants. Fusion of this region to the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase reporter gene resulted in significantly higher expression than fusion with the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter. Strong levels of expression were also found in electroporated monocot plant cells. The promoter activity in transgenic tobacco plants showed tissue-specific expression. Leaves had the highest expression followed by stems and flowers. The promoter activity was not detected in root tissue. Environmental cues, such as light, and the phytohormones auxin and cytokinines had no effect on the promoter's expression. This promoter might be utilized to achieve high levels of expression of introduced genes in higher plants.
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