Ectopic expression of MNX gene from Arabidopsis thaliana involved in auxin biosynthesis confers male sterility in transgenic cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) plants
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A transgenic male sterile line of upland cotton was generated by the ectopic expression of the monooxygenase (MNX) gene from Arabidopsis thaliana via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The bacterium harbored a plasmid pBinplus carrying a 1.25-kb MNX coding sequence together with a GUS reporter gene; the former was driven by the MS2 promoter of a male sterility gene in Arabidopsis, and the latter was under the control of CaMV 35S promoter. Twenty-seven putative transgenic plants (T0) were obtained, all of which showed GUS activity and positive signals of NPTII and MNX genes by PCR analysis, and also showed male sterility to some extent. It was further confirmed by Southern blotting that one copy of the NPTII and MNX gene was integrated in the genome of the plants which expressed male sterility to a higher degree. Northern blotting assay also demonstrated that the transgenes stably transcribed in the genome of the transgenic plants in F4 generation. The male sterile plants usually display lower plant height, shortened internodes, shrunken anthers without pollen grains or with some abortive pollen grains, and unusual leaves with deeper multi-lobes. Microscope observations on the meiosis processes of pollen mother cells (PMCs) showed that the abortion of pollen grains mainly resulted from abnormalities of meiosis such as direct degeneration of PMCs, degenerations of dyad and tetrads, amitosis, lagging chromosomes, and the multi-polar segregations of chromosomes and so on. This study indicates a method of developing novel cotton male sterile materials for potential application in agriculture and for engineering of male sterility in other important crops.
KeywordsMale sterility Cotton transformation Monooxygenase gene Meiosis
We sincerely thank Dr. Andy Pereira (Plant Research International, the Netherlands) for providing cDNA clones and MS2 promoter, and Dr. Youlu Yuan (Cotton Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, CAAS) for his valuable and critical comments on the manuscript. This research was partially supported by the project 2006AA201C02 of the Hubei Provincial Science and Technology Foundation of China.
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