Comparison of the functions of the barley nicotianamine synthase gene HvNAS1 and rice nicotianamine synthase gene OsNAS1 promoters in response to iron deficiency in transgenic tobacco
Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) nicotianamine synthase gene (HvNAS1) expression in barley is strongly induced by Fe deficiency in the roots and rice (Oryza sativa L.) nicotianamine synthase gene (OsNAS1) expression in rice is induced by Fe deficiency both in the roots and in the shoots. In dicots, NAS genes are not strongly induced by Fe deficiency, and they function to maintain Fe homeostasis. Rice OsNAS1promoter::GUS or barley HvNAS1promoter::GUS was introduced into tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) and tissue specificities and systemic regulation of their expression were compared. A split-root experiment revealed that the HvNAS1 promoter exhibited functions similar to those of Fe-acquisition-related genes in tobacco roots, suggesting that this promoter responded to certain Fe-deficiency systemic signals and to the Fe concentration in the rhizosphere. The HvNAS1 promoter might harbor a type of universal system of gene expression for Fe acquisition. However, the OsNAS1 promoter did not respond to local application of Fe to the roots and induced GUS activities in mature leaves in response to Fe deficiency. This promoter might possess numerous types of cis-acting sequences that are involved in Fe metabolism.