, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 337-346
Date: 14 Apr 2010

Flower-specific expression of Arabidopsis PCS1 driven by AGAMOUS second intron in tobacco decreases the fertility of transgenic plants

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The PROMOTION OF CELL SURVIVAL 1 (PCS1) gene, encoding an aspartic protease, has an important role in determining the fate of cells in embryonic development and reproduction processes in Arabidopsis. To explore the potential function of the PCS1 gene in generating reproductive sterility, we placed the PCS1 gene under the control of an 1,869-bp nucleotide sequence from the 3′ end of the second intron (AG-I) of Arabidopsis AGAMOUS and CaMV 35S (–60) minimal promoter [AG-I-35S (60)::PCS1], and introduced it into tobacco. RT–PCR results demonstrated that the PCS1 gene driven by AG-I-35S (60) chimeric promoter was expressed only in anthers and carpels in the reproductive tissues of transgenic tobacco. Compared to wild-type plants, all AG-I-35S (60) and AG-I-35S (60)::PCS1 transgenic lines showed a normal phenotype throughout the vegetative growth phase. However, during the reproductive stage, most AG-I-35S (60)::PCS1 transgenic plant anthers displayed delayed dehiscence, failed dehiscence, petalody and hypoplasia, and the pollen grains had different shapes and sizes with a distorted, shrunken, or collapsed morphology. Moreover, three transgenic lines, PCS1-1, PCS1-3 and PCS1-4, showed higher sterility than wild-type and AG-I-35S (60) transgenic plants, respectively. These results showed that the construct of AG-I-35S (60)::PCS1 was partially effective at preventing seed set and provided a novel sterility strategy.