JOURNAL ARTICLE

A R2R3-MYB transcription factor that is specifically expressed in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) fibers affects secondary cell wall biosynthesis and deposition in transgenic Arabidopsis

Xiang Sun, Si-Ying Gong, Xiao-Ying Nie, Yang Li, Wen Li, Geng-Qing Huang, Xue-Bao Li
Physiologia Plantarum 2015, 154 (3): 420-32
25534543
Secondary cell wall (SCW) is an important industrial raw material for pulping, papermaking, construction, lumbering, textiles and potentially for biofuel production. The process of SCW thickening of cotton fibers lays down the cellulose that will constitute the bulk (up to 96%) of the fiber at maturity. In this study, a gene encoding a MYB-domain protein was identified in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) and designated as GhMYBL1. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis revealed that GhMYBL1 was specifically expressed in cotton fibers at the stage of secondary wall deposition. Further analysis indicated that this protein is a R2R3-MYB transcription factor, and is targeted to the cell nucleus. Overexpression of GhMYBL1 in Arabidopsis affected the formation of SCW in the stem xylem of the transgenic plants. The enhanced SCW thickening also occurred in the interfascicular fibers, xylary fibers and vessels of the GhMYBL1-overexpression transgenic plants. The expression of secondary wall-associated genes, such as CesA4, CesA7, CesA8, PAL1, F5H and 4CL1, were upregulated, and consequently, cellulose and lignin biosynthesis were enhanced in the GhMYBL1 transgenic plants. These data suggested that GhMYBL1 may participate in modulating the process of secondary wall biosynthesis and deposition of cotton fibers.

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