Inducible gene expression systems offer researchers the opportunity to synchronize target gene expression at particular developmental stages and in particular tissues. The glucocorticoid receptor (GR), a vertebrate steroid receptor, has been well adopted for this purpose in plants. To generate steroid-inducible plants, a construct of GAL4-binding domain-VP16 activation domain-GR fusion (GVG) with the target gene under the control of upstream activation sequence (UAS) has been developed and extensively used in plant research.
Immune receptors perceive conserved molecular patterns secreted by pathogens and initiate robust immune responses. The rice immune receptor, XA21, recognizes a molecular pattern highly conserved in all sequenced genomes of Xanthomonas, and confers robust resistance to X. oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo). However, identifying genes downstream of XA21 has been hindered because of the restrained lesion and thus limited defense response region in the plants expressing Xa21. Inducible expression allows for a synchronized immune response across a large amount of rice tissue, well suited for studying XA21-mediated immunity by genome-wide approaches such as transcriptomics and proteomics. In this protocol, we describe the use of this GVG system to synchronize Xa21 expression.
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