Constitutive overexpression of transgenes occasionally interferes with normal growth and developmental processes in plants. Thus, the development of tissue-specific promoters that drive transgene expression has become agriculturally important. To identify tomato tissue-specific promoters, tissue-specific genes were screened using a series of in silico-based and experimental procedures, including genome-wide orthologue searches of tomato and Arabidopsis databases, isolation of tissue-specific candidates using an Arabidopsis microarray database, and validation of tissue specificity by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis and promoter assay. Using these procedures, we found 311 tissue-specific candidate genes and validated 10 tissue-specific genes by RT-PCR. Among these identified genes, histochemical analysis of five isolated promoter::GUS transgenic tomato and Arabidopsis plants revealed that their promoters have different but distinct tissue-specific activities in anther, fruit, and root, respectively. Therefore, it appears these in silico-based screening approaches in addition to the identification of new tissue-specific genes and promoters will be helpful for the further development of tailored crop development.
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