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Transcriptional Analysis of the Azospirillum brasilense Indole-3-Pyruvate Decarboxylase Gene and Identification of a cis-Acting Sequence Involved in Auxin Responsive Expression

April 2005 , Volume 18 , Number  4
Pages  311 - 323

A. Vande Broek , 1 P. Gysegom , 1 O. Ona , 1 N. Hendrickx , 1 E. Prinsen , 2 J. Van Impe , 3 and J. Vanderleyden 1

1Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics, K.U.Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium; 2Department of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, U.I.Antwerpen, Wilrijk, Belgium; 3Departement Chemische Ingenieurstechnieken, K.U.Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium

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Accepted 17 November 2004.

of the Azospirillum brasilense ipdC gene, encoding an indole-3-pyruvate decarboxylase, a key enzyme in the production of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) in this bacterium, is upregulated by IAA. Here, we demonstrate that the ipdC gene is the promoter proximal gene in a bicistronic operon. Database searches revealed that the second gene of this operon, named iaaC, is well conserved evolutionarily and that the encoded protein is homologous to the Escherichia coli protein SCRP-27A, the zebrafish protein ES1, and the human protein KNP-I/GT335 (HES1), all of unknown function and belonging to the DJ-1/PfpI superfamily. In addition to this operon structure, iaaC is also transcribed monocistronically. Mutation analysis of the latter gene indicated that the encoded protein is involved in controlling IAA biosynthesis but not ipdC expression. Besides being upregulated by IAA, expression of the ipdC-iaaC operon is pH dependent and maximal at acidic pH. The ipdC promoter was studied using a combination of deletion analyses and site-directed mutagenesis. A dyadic sequence (ATTGTTTC(GAAT)GAAACAAT), centered at -48 was demonstrated to be responsible for the IAA inducibility. This bacterial auxin-responsive element does not control the pH-dependent expression of ipdC-iaaC.

Additional keywords: azospirilla, auxin responsive element, IAA inducible.

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society