JOURNAL ARTICLE

Molecular mechanisms of fiber differential development between G. barbadense and G. hirsutum revealed by genetical genomics

Xiangdong Chen, Wangzhen Guo, Bingliang Liu, Yuanming Zhang, Xianliang Song, Yu Cheng, Lili Zhang, Tianzhen Zhang
PloS One 2012, 7 (1): e30056
22253876
Cotton fiber qualities including length, strength and fineness are known to be controlled by genes affecting cell elongation and secondary cell wall (SCW) biosynthesis, but the molecular mechanisms that govern development of fiber traits are largely unknown. Here, we evaluated an interspecific backcrossed population from G. barbadense cv. Hai7124 and G. hirsutum acc. TM-1 for fiber characteristics in four-year environments under field conditions, and detected 12 quantitative trait loci (QTL) and QTL-by-environment interactions by multi-QTL joint analysis. Further analysis of fiber growth and gene expression between TM-1 and Hai7124 showed greater differences at 10 and 25 days post-anthesis (DPA). In this two period important for fiber performances, we integrated genome-wide expression profiling with linkage analysis using the same genetic materials and identified in total 916 expression QTL (eQTL) significantly (P<0.05) affecting the expression of 394 differential genes. Many positional cis-/trans-acting eQTL and eQTL hotspots were detected across the genome. By comparative mapping of eQTL and fiber QTL, a dataset of candidate genes affecting fiber qualities was generated. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis confirmed the major differential genes regulating fiber cell elongation or SCW synthesis. These data collectively support molecular mechanism for G. hirsutum and G. barbadense through differential gene regulation causing difference of fiber qualities. The down-regulated expression of abscisic acid (ABA) and ethylene signaling pathway genes and high-level and long-term expression of positive regulators including auxin and cell wall enzyme genes for fiber cell elongation at the fiber developmental transition stage may account for superior fiber qualities.

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