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Brückner, K., Schäfer, P., Weber, E., Grützner, R., Marillonnet, S. & Tissier, A. A library of synthetic transcription activator-like effector-activated promoters for coordinated orthogonal gene expression in plants The Plant Journal 82, 707–716, (2015) DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12843
A library of synthetic promoters containing the binding site of a single designer transcription activator-like effector (dTALE) was constructed. The promoters contain a constant sequence, consisting of an 18-base long dTALE-binding site and a TATA box, flanked by degenerate sequences of 49 bases downstream and 19 bases upstream. Forty-three of these promoters were sequenced and tested in transient assays in Nicotiana benthamiana using a GUS reporter gene. The strength of expression of the promoters ranged from around 5% to almost 100% of the viral 35S promoter activity. We then demonstrated the utility of these promoters for metabolic engineering by transiently expressing three genes for the production of a plant diterpenoid in N. benthamiana. The simplicity of the promoter structure shows great promise for the development of genetic circuits, with wide potential applications in plant synthetic biology and metabolic engineering.