Plant Seed Specific Promoters




Constitutive promoters, such as the CaMV 35S promoter, are commonly used for producing transgenic plants. However, constitutive promoters offer very little expression control, and cause their products to be expressed throughout the entire life of the plant and ubiquitously in tissues of transgenic plants. This effect is often harmful to the health of the plant, reducing bioreactor (plant) life and negatively affecting the desired output. Tissue-specific promoters enable expression of desired traits in targeted tissue only, and usually offer greater control of expression timing and levels. Seed-specific promoters are a type of tissue-specific promoters that provide these favorable characteristics for expression control of seed products.


Description of Technology


This invention provides seed-specific promoters that direct gene expression to plant seeds. The invention also reveals methods for identifying seed-specific promoters, and methods for controlling gene expression with novel seed specific promoters that limit expression to plant seeds. The invention ultimately enables greater control of gene expression for recombinant seed products, such as oils, in a manner that prevents expression of the products in other tissues that may harm the plant.


Key Benefits

  • Enables greater expression control for genetically engineered seed products: The promoters are active at various stages of seed development and enable control of gene expression. Also, expression of targeted traits is directed to the seed only, which prevents expression in other parts of the plant where the trait could compromise the health of the plant.




The seed-specific promoters provided by this invention are useful for controlling gene expression and optimizing the production of genetically engineered seed products. The invention has the potential to enable the genetic design of desirable traits e.g., seed oils produced with specific fatty acid profiles. Potential applications include vegetable oil production for food and energy purposes.


Patent Status


US 7081565 (issued Jul 25, 2006)




Christoph Benning, John Ohlrogge, Hongbo Gao, Thomas Arno Alread Grike, Joseph White


Tech ID




Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University