Biomedical and Biological Engineering | Article | Published 2014-01-16

Phytochrome RNAi enhances major fibre quality and agronomic traits of the cotton Gossypium hirsutum L

Authors:

Zabardast T Buriev

Sukumar Saha

Johnie N Jenkins

Abdusattor Abdukarimov

Alan E Pepper

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Collection: Nature Communications
Keywords: Genomics and bioinformatics

Abstract

Simultaneous improvement of fibre quality, early-flowering, early-maturity and productivity in Upland cotton (G. hirsutum) is a challenging task for conventional breeding. The influence of red/far-red light ratio on the fibre length prompted us to examine the phenotypic effects of RNA interference (RNAi) of the cotton PHYA1 gene. Here we show a suppression of up to~ 70% for the PHYA1 transcript, and compensatory overexpression of up to~ 20-fold in the remaining phytochromes in somatically regenerated PHYA1 RNAi cotton plants. Two independent transformants of three generations exhibited vigorous root and vegetative growth, early-flowering, significantly improved upper half mean fibre length and an improvement in other major fibre characteristics. Small decreases in lint traits were observed but seed cotton yield was increased an average 10–17% compared with controls. RNAi-associated phenotypes were …

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