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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Mississippi State, Mississippi » Crop Science Research Laboratory » Genetics and Sustainable Agriculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #282707

Title: Phytochrome RNAi enhances major fibre quality and agronomic traits of the cotton Gossypium hirsutum L

item ABDURAKHMONOV, IBROKHIM - Uzbekistan Academy Of Sciences
item BURIEV, ZABARDAST - Uzbekistan Academy Of Sciences
item Saha, Sukumar
item Jenkins, Johnie
item ABDUKARIMOV, ABDUSATTOR - Uzbekistan Academy Of Sciences
item PEPPER, ALAN - Texas A&M University

Submitted to: Nature
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/4/2013
Publication Date: 1/16/2014
Citation: Abdurakhmonov, I.Y., Buriev, Z.T., Saha, S., Jenkins, J.N., Abdukarimov, A., Pepper, A.E. 2014. Phytochrome RNAi enhances major fibre quality and agronomic traits of the cotton Gossypium hirsutum L. Nature Communications. 5:3062. DOI:10.1038./ncomms4062.

Interpretive Summary: Cotton breeders have the difficult task of simultaneously improving fiber properties and lint yield in the development of new cultivars. We have employed RNA interference technology for the phytochrome genes in cotton in an attempt to provide simultaneous improvements in both fiber and yield. Selected transformed plants showed significant changes in phytochrome levels with subsequent increases in fiber length, root mass, and lint yield. Transformed plants were also earlier in flowering and in maturity; however lint percentage was slightly reduced. The altered phytochrome level was highly heritable and was successfully transferred to improved lines using conventional crossing technology.

Technical Abstract: Improvement of fiber quality in Upland cotton (G. hirsutum), while maintaining early-flowering, early-maturity and productivity, is a challenging task in conventional breeding. The possible influence of red/far-red light ratio on fiber length parameter prompted us to employ RNA interference for one of two PHYA orthologs in cotton, PHYA1. In somatically regenerated RNAi plants, we observed suppression up to ~70% for PHYA1 transcript, and overexpression up to ~20-fold for the remaining phytochromes. This altered expression caused vigorous root and vegetative growth, early-flowering and maturity, up to 8 mm (25%) increase in fiber staple length, and an improvement in other major fiber characteristics. Small decreases in lint percentage, seed index, and lint index were observed, but overall, seed cotton yield was increased up to 18% compared to controls. RNAi-associated phenotypes were highly heritable and expressed through T1:3 generation, and were transferable from RNAi Coker-312 to other commercial Upland cultivars via conventional hybridization.