Original Article

Planta

, Volume 236, Issue 4, pp 1135-1150

Overexpression of phytochrome A and its hyperactive mutant improves shade tolerance and turf quality in creeping bentgrass and zoysiagrass

  • Markkandan GanesanAffiliated withFaculty of Biotechnology and Subtropical Horticulture Research Institute, Jeju National University
  • , Yun-Jeong HanAffiliated withDepartment of Biotechnology and Kumho Life Science Laboratory, Chonnam National University
  • , Tae-Woong BaeAffiliated withFaculty of Biotechnology and Subtropical Horticulture Research Institute, Jeju National University
  • , Ok-Jin HwangAffiliated withDepartment of Biotechnology and Kumho Life Science Laboratory, Chonnam National University
  • , Thummala ChandrasekkharAffiliated withDepartment of Biotechnology and Kumho Life Science Laboratory, Chonnam National University
  • , Ah-Young ShinAffiliated withDepartment of Biotechnology and Kumho Life Science Laboratory, Chonnam National University
  • , Chang-Hyo GohAffiliated withFaculty of Biotechnology and Subtropical Horticulture Research Institute, Jeju National University
  • , Satoshi NishiguchiAffiliated withFaculty of Biotechnology and Subtropical Horticulture Research Institute, Jeju National University
  • , In-Ja SongAffiliated withFaculty of Biotechnology and Subtropical Horticulture Research Institute, Jeju National University
    • , Hyo-Yeon LeeAffiliated withFaculty of Biotechnology and Subtropical Horticulture Research Institute, Jeju National University Email author 
    • , Jeong-Il KimAffiliated withDepartment of Biotechnology and Kumho Life Science Laboratory, Chonnam National University Email author 
    • , Pill-Soon SongAffiliated withFaculty of Biotechnology and Subtropical Horticulture Research Institute, Jeju National UniversityEvergreen Biotech Co. Ltd Email author 

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Abstract

Phytochrome A (phyA) in higher plants is known to function as a far-red/shade light-sensing photoreceptor in suppressing shade avoidance responses (SARs) to shade stress. In this paper, the Avena PHYA gene was introduced into creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) and zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) to improve turf quality by suppressing the SARs. In addition to wild-type PHYA, a hyperactive mutant gene (S599A-PHYA), in which a phosphorylation site involved in light-signal attenuation was removed, was also transformed into the turfgrasses. Phenotypic traits of the transgenic plants were compared to assess the suppression of SARs under a simulated shade condition and outdoor field conditions after three growth seasons. Under the shade condition, the S599A-PhyA transgenic creeping bentgrass plants showed shade avoidance-suppressing phenotypes with a 45 % shorter leaf lengths, 24 % shorter internode lengths, and twofold increases in chlorophyll concentrations when compared with control plants. Transgenic zoysiagrass plants overexpressing S599A-PHYA also showed shade-tolerant phenotypes under the shade condition with reductions in leaf length (15 %), internode length (30 %), leaf length/width ratio (19 %) and leaf area (22 %), as well as increases in chlorophyll contents (19 %) and runner lengths (30 %) compared to control plants. The phenotypes of transgenic zoysiagrass were also investigated in dense field habitats, and the transgenic turfgrass exhibited shade-tolerant phenotypes similar to those observed under laboratory shade conditions. Therefore, the present study suggests that the hyperactive phyA is effective for the development of shade-tolerant plants, and that the shade tolerance nature is sustained under field conditions.

Keywords

Agrostis stolonifera Phytochromes Shade avoidance Transformation Turfgrass Zoysia japonica