Cloning of a MADS box gene (GhMADS3) from cotton and analysis of its homeotic role in transgenic tobacco

Yulong Guo, Qinlong Zhu, Shangyong Zheng, Mingyang Li
Journal of Genetics and Genomics 2007, 34 (6): 527-35
A MADS box gene (GhMADS3) was cloned from cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) based on EST sequences. The predicted protein sequence of GhMADS3 showed 85%, 73%, and 62% identity with Theobroma cacao TcAG, Antirrhinum majus FAR, and Arabidopsis thaliana AG, respectively, and was grouped with AG homologues when the full length sequences excluding N-extensions were compared. GhMADS3 expressed in the wild type cotton flower primarily in stamens and carpels, which was comparable to AG in Arabidopsis. However, it was not expressed in floral buds of a homeotic cotton variant chv1. Ectopic expression of GhMADS3 in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) resulted in flowers with sepal-to-carpel and petal-to-stamen transformation. The carpelloid first whorl organs, with stigmatic tissue on their upper edges, had a white appearance when compared with the dark green color of the wild type sepals. At times, long filaments were observed at the fusion site of the first carpelloid oranges. The second whorl organs in staminoid were usually smaller than the wild type and the color was changed from pink to white. These results suggest that GhMADS3 has a homeotic role in flower development.

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