The genomic clone for BN115, a low-temperature-responsive gene, was isolated from winter Brassica napus and its sequence was determined. A 1.2-kb fragment of the 5' regulatory region (from bp -1107 to +100) was fused to the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene and BN115-promoted GUS expression was observed in green tissues of transgenic B. napus plants only after incubation at 2 degrees C. No expression was observed after incubation at 22 degrees C, either in the presence or the absence of ABA. Microprojectile bombardment of winter B. napus leaves with a BN115 promoter/GUS construct yielded similar results and was used to analyze a series of deletions from the 5' end of the promoter. Results obtained from transient expression studies showed that the low-temperature regulation of BN115 expression involves a possible enhancer region between bp -1107 and -802 and a second positive regulatory region located between bp -302 and -274. Deletion analyses and results from replacement with a truncated cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter suggest that the minimal size required for any maintenance of low-temperature GUS expression is a -300-bp fragment. Within this fragment are two 8-bp elements with the sequence TGGCCGAC, which are identical to those present in the positive regulatory region of the promoter of the homologous Arabidopsis cor15a gene and to a 5-bp core sequence in the low-temperature- and dehydration-responsive elements identified in the promoter regions of several cold-responsive Arabidopsis thaliana genes.