Regulation of cotton fiber elongation by xyloglucan endotransglycosylase/hydrolase genes

M Y Shao, X D Wang, M Ni, N Bibi, S N Yuan, W Malik, H P Zhang, Y X Liu, S J Hua
Genetics and Molecular Research: GMR 2011, 10 (4): 3771-82
Ligon lintless mutant (li1li1) with super-short fibers (5-8 mm in length) and its wild type (Li1Li1) with normal fibers (30 mm in length) were used to study the function of xyloglucan endotransglycosylase/hydrolase (XTH) genes during fiber elongation in cotton. Wild-type cotton attained the fiber elongation stage earlier (5 days post-anthesis, DPA), than the Ligon lintless mutant (12 DPA) with a higher fiber elongation velocity of about 1.76 mm/day. Xyloglucan contents in Ligon lintless mutant fibers were 5-fold higher than the wild type during 9-15 DPA. It was also observed that the activity of XTH in wild-type cotton fibers was about 2-fold higher than that of the Ligon lintless mutant with a peak at 12 DPA. DNA blot analysis indicated that the XTH gene in the Ligon lintless mutant and its wild type belonged to a multiple allelic series. However, RNA blot analysis and quantitative real-time PCR exhibited an earlier expression (10 DPA) of XTH in wild type as compared to delayed (15 DPA) expression in the Ligon lintless mutant. The study also revealed that 9-15 DPA might be a key phase for upregulation of fiber elongation via increasing XTH activity. Higher XTH activity can cleave down the xyloglucan-cellulose chains thus loosening fiber cell wall and promoting fiber cell elongation in wild type as compared to its mutant.

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