The MYB transcription factor GhMYB25 regulates early fibre and trichome development

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Plant Journal, 2009, 59 (1), pp. 52 - 62
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Little is still known about the developmental control of the long seed coat trichomes of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). In Arabidopsis, leaf trichome initiation is regulated by a group of well-defined transcription factors that includes MYB and homeodomain types. Many MYBs are expressed in fibres, but their roles in fibre development remain unclear. We analysed the function of one MYB transcription factor, GhMYB25, identified from transcriptome comparisons between wild-type and fibreless cotton mutants. A GhMYB25 promoter-GUS construct in transgenic cotton was expressed in the epidermis of ovules, developing fibre initials and fibres, in the trichomes of a number of tissues including leaves, stems and petals, as well as in the anthers, pollen and the epidermal layers of roots and root initials, but not in root hairs. Cotton is an allotetraploid with two very similar GhMYB25 genes that were silenced by a single RNAi construct. GhMYB25-silenced cotton showed alterations in the timing of rapid fibre elongation, resulting in short fibres, dramatic reductions in trichomes on other parts of the plant, and reductions in seed production. Reciprocal crosses between transgenic and non-transgenic plants indicated that pollen and ovule viability per se were not disrupted. Ectopic over-expression of GhMYB25 had more subtle impacts, with increases in cotton fibre initiation and leaf trichome number. High expression appeared to adversely affect fertility. Our results provide convincing evidence for a role of GhMYB25, like other MIXTA-like MYBS, in regulating specialized outgrowths of epidermal cells, including, in this case, cotton fibres. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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