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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHARACTERIZATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF PLANT RESISTANCE TO WATER-DEFICIT AND THERMAL STRESSES

Location: Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Research

Title: New molecular tools to study fiber develop and the effect of environmental stresses: development of transgenic cotton lines harboring fiber specific

Authors
item Chen, Junping
item Burke, John

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 13, 2009
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Cotton is one of the most important cash crops in US agricultural industry. Environmental stresses, such as drought, high temperature or combination of both, have profound negative impacts on cotton lint production and fiber quality, 2 of the most important factors that determine the profitability of a cotton farmer. Fiber development in cotton consists of four distinct but overlapping stages, fiber initiation, cell elongation, secondary cell wall deposition, and maturation. However, the impact of environmental stresses on fiber development is poorly understood due to the technical difficulty associated with study of fiber tissues and the lack of genetic materials for studies in this area. Recently, we have generated transgenic cotton lines harboring cotton fiber specific promoter (CFSP)-reporter constructs from six cotton fiber specific genes, representing genes that are expressed at different stages of fiber development. Individual CFSP::GUS or CFSP::GFP construct was introduced into Coker 312 via Agrobacterium mediated transformation. Transgenic cotton lines were evaluated phenotypically and screened for the presence of plant selectable marker, reporter gene expression, and insertion numbers. Homozygous R3 lines were planted in the field to produce T4 bulk seeds. Quantitative 4-MU fluorescent assay demonstrated that the patterns of GUS reporter gene activity during fiber development in transgenic cotton lines are similar to those of native promoter genes. The transgenic cotton lines that we generated will provides much needed molecular tool for cotton research community to study the effects of environmental stresses on fiber development and fiber quality.

Technical Abstract: Cotton is one of the most important cash crops in US agricultural industry. Cotton fibers are differentiated elongated epidermal cell of the seed coat. Fiber development consists of four distinct but overlapping stages, fiber initiation, cell elongation, secondary cell wall deposition, and maturation. Environmental stresses, such as drought combined with high temperatures, not only reduce the overall growth of cotton plants, but also greatly decrease cotton lint yield and fiber quality. The impact of environmental stresses on fiber development is poorly understood due to the technical difficulty associated with study of fiber tissues and the lack of genetic materials for studies in this area. To address this important question and provide the need for scientific community, we have generated transgenic cotton lines harboring cotton fiber specific promoter (CFSP)-reporter constructs from six cotton fiber specific genes, representing genes that are expressed at different stages of fiber development. Individual CFSP::GUS or CFSP::GFP construct was introduced into Coker 312 via Agrobacterium mediated transformation. Transgenic cotton lines were evaluated phenotypically and screened for the presence of plant selectable marker, reporter gene expression, and insertion numbers. Homozygous R3 lines were planted in the field to produce T4 bulk seeds. Quantitative 4-MU fluorescent assay demonstrated that the patterns of GUS reporter gene activity during fiber development in transgenic cotton lines are similar to those of native promoter genes. The availability of these transgenic plants to cotton research community provides new molecular tool to study the effects of environmental stresses on fiber development.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014