Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

American Journal of Plant Physiology


Department of Biological Sciences


The last phase of leaf development, generally referred to as leaf senescence, is an integral part of plant development that involves massive programmed cell death. Due to a sharp decline of photosynthetic capacity in a leaf, senescence limits crop yield and forest plant biomass production. However, the biochemical components and regulatory mechanisms underlying leaf senescence are poorly characterized. Although several approaches such as differential cDNA screening, differential display, and cDNA subtraction have been employed to isolate senescence-associated genes (SAGs), only a limited number of SAGs have been identified, and information regarding the regulation of these genes is fragmentary. Here we report on the utilization of enhancer trap approach toward the identification and analysis of SAGs. We have developed a sensitive large-scale screening method and have screened 1,300 Arabidopsis enhancer trap lines and have identified 147 lines in which the reporter gene GUS (β-glucuronidase) is expressed in senescing leaves but not in non-senescing ones. We have systematically analyzed the regulation of β-glucuronidase expression in 125 lines (genetically, each contains single T-DNA insertion) by six senescence-promoting factors, namely abscisic acid, ethylene, jasmonic acid, brassinosteroid, darkness, and dehydration. This analysis not only reveals the complexity of the regulatory circuitry but also allows us to postulate the existence of a network of senescence-promoting pathways. We have also cloned three SAGs from randomly selected enhancer trap lines, demonstrating that reporter expression pattern reflects the expression pattern of the endogenous gene.



Original Citation

He Y, Tang W, Swain JD, Green AL, Jack TP, Gan S. Networking senescence-regulating pathways by using Arabidopsis enhancer trap lines. Plant Physiol. 2001 Jun;126(2):707-16. doi: 10.1104/pp.126.2.707. PMID: 11402199; PMCID: PMC111161.