, Volume 51, Issue 2, pp 237-248

Functional characterisation of a cytokinin oxidase gene DSCKX1 in Dendrobium orchid

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Cytokinin oxidase plays an important role in the cytokinin regulatory processes. We have cloned a novel putative cytokinin oxidase, DSCKX1 (D endrobium Sonia cytokinin oxidase), by mRNA differential display from shoot apices of Dendrobium Sonia cultured in the presence of BA. The DSCKX1 gene appears to have three alternative splicing forms and its expression of DSCKX1 was induced in a tissue-specific manner by cytokinins. In transgenic orchid plants overexpressing DSCKX1, the elevated level of cytokinin oxidase activity was accompanied by a reduction of cytokinin content. These plants exhibited slow shoot growth with numerous and long roots in vitro. Their calli also showed decreased capability of shoot formation. Conversly, antisense transgenic plants showed rapid proliferation of shoots and inhibition of root growth combined with a higher endogenous cytokinin content than wild-type plants. Thus DSCKX1 appears to play an important role on cytokinin metabolism and the related developmental programmes in orchid.