Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The loss of seeds prior to harvest because of pod shatter is a serious agricultural problem in birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). The development of dry and dehiscent seed bearing fruits enables reseeding in pastures, but inhibits the efficient harvesting of seed. Recent advances have been made in understanding the genetic basis for silique (pod) shatter rin the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The establishment of a dehiscence zone in maturing fruits of Arabidopsis has been shown to be under the control of several genes in the MADS-box transcription factor family; further, dehiscence zone cells ultimately separate after the breakdown of cell wall material by the action of polygalacturonases. The anatomy of maturing fruits of the model legume L. japonicus is distinct from Arabidopsis, but the formation of a separation zone and the ultimate shattering of pods is strikingly similar to silique shatter in A. thaliana. .Therefore, our approach is to establish the similarities in genes that direct the formation of dehiscence zones between A. thaliana and the model legume L. japonicus, and use that information to modify gene expression to prevent dehiscence zone formation. Using the sequenced genome of Arabidopsis as a starting point, we aim to identify the critical genes in L. japonicus that determine dehiscence zone formation and to modify their expression to block cell separation and produce indehiscent pods. Success in producing indehiscent L. japonicus can be rapidly applied to the closely related crop species L. corniculatus, and has broad implications for other dehiscent species.