Natural and Synthetic Soybean Promoters that Regulate Gene Expression

Increasing soybean production by enhancing already existing genetically modified traits

The Need

As the global population expands, the demand for food increases. The agricultural industry is continually seeking methods to grow stronger crops that are less susceptible to disease and environmental stress. Currently, farmers use pesticides and genetically modified crops to increase crop yields. In fact, about 95% of the soybean cropland uses genetically modified (GM) crops. Genetically modified soybean continues to be successful, however, there still remain modified genes that weakly express desired traits. To ensure the target gene will express a trait persistently, promoters are needed to be added into the GM soybeans.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. John Finer, identified and characterized soybean promoters from the SUBI-3 polyubiquitin gene that regulate or control expression of an introduced marker gene. These native or hybrid—promoters were produced by fusion of fragments from two different native promoters. The promoters regulate transgene expression that can generate ptants that are resist pathogens, pests, diseases and/or environmental factors. All promoters have been identified and characterized using both transient expression and stable expression data. This technology is ready for market.

Commercial Applications

  • Agricultural biotechnology
  • Crop improvement


  • Promoters exhibit much higher constitutive expression than CaMV35S, a standard promoter
  • Some of the promoters yield high expression levels, which is desired for certain transgenes
  • Some of the promoters drive expression in the soybean roots which can be beneficial for pathogen resistance

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