The invention provides promoter sequences that regulate specific expression of operably linked sequences in developing xylem cells and/or in developing xylem tissue. The developing xylem-specific sequences are exemplified by the DX5, DX8, DX11, and DX15 promoters, portions thereof, and homologs thereof. The invention further provides expression vectors, cells, tissues and plants that contain the invention's sequences. The compositions of the invention and methods of using them are useful in, for example, improving the quantity (biomass) and/or the quality (wood density, lignin content, sugar content etc.) of expressed biomass feedstock products that may be used for bioenergy, biorefinary, and generating wood products such as pulp, paper, and solid wood.
 This invention was made with government support under grant No. DE-FC02-07ER64494 awarded by the Department of Energy, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (DOE-GLBRC). The government has certain rights in the invention.