Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins are small, hydrophilic, and largely unstructured proteins that are synthesized in seeds during late maturation and in vegetative tissues in response to abiotic stress. They have been associated with dehydration and desiccation tolerance in many plants, animal, and bacteria, and are documented to protect plants against desiccation and abiotic stress. In this study we characterize three Brassica napus LEA promoters; LEA 411 (Group1), ECP 66, and ECP248 from group 3. All three showed accumulation during seed development as well as in vegetative tissue
in response to salt, drought, and cold stress. We show that the LEA proteins are being expressed as early as 10 days after flowering in seeds. The response to drought and salt stress occurred as quickly as 3 hours after stress treatment while that to cold took longer to detect. Promoter analysis revealed ABRE, DRE/CRT, DRE2, MYB and MYC motifs.