JOURNAL ARTICLE

Cotton KNL1, encoding a class II KNOX transcription factor, is involved in regulation of fibre development

Si-Ying Gong, Geng-Qing Huang, Xiang Sun, Li-Xia Qin, Yang Li, Li Zhou, Xue-Bao Li
Journal of Experimental Botany 2014, 65 (15): 4133-47
24831118
In this study, the GhKNL1 (KNOTTED1-LIKE) gene, encoding a classical class II KNOX protein was identified in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). GhKNL1 was preferentially expressed in developing fibres at the stage of secondary cell wall (SCW) biosynthesis. GhKNL1 was localized in the cell nucleus, and could interact with GhOFP4, as well as AtOFP1, AtOFP4, and AtMYB75. However, GhKNL1 lacked transcriptional activation activity. Dominant repression of GhKNL1 affected fibre development of cotton. The expression levels of genes related to fibre elongation and SCW biosynthesis were altered in transgenic fibres of cotton. As a result, transgenic cotton plants produced aberrant, shrunken, and collapsed fibre cells. Length and cell-wall thickness of fibres of transgenic cotton plants were significantly reduced compared with the wild type. Furthermore, overexpression and dominant repression of GhKNL1 in Arabidopsis resulted in a reduction in interfascicular fibre cell-wall thickening of basal stems of transgenic plants. Complementation revealed that GhKNL1 rescued the defective phenotype of Arabidopsis knat7 mutant in some extent. These data suggest that GhKNL1, as a transcription factor, participates in regulating fibre development of cotton.

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