Noble, OK, United States
Noble, OK, United States

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Wang H.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Niu L.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Niu L.,Oklahoma State University | Fu C.,Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation | And 12 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2017

Lignocellulosic biomass can be a significant source of renewable clean energy with continued improvement in biomass yield and bioconversion strategies. In higher plants, the leaf blade is the central energy convertor where solar energy and CO2are assimilated to make the building blocks for biomass production. Here we report that introducing the leaf blade development regulator STENOFOLIA (STF), a WOX family transcription factor, into the biofuel crop switchgrass, significantly improves both biomass yield and sugar release. We found that STF overexpressing switchgrass plants produced approximately 2-fold more dry biomass and release approximately 1.8-fold more solubilized sugars without pretreatment compared to controls. The biomass increase was attributed mainly to increased leaf width and stem thickness, which was also consistent in STF transgenic rice and Brachypodium, and appeared to be caused by enhanced cell proliferation. STF directly binds to multiple regions in the promoters of some cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (CKX) genes and represses their expression in all three transgenic grasses. This repression was accompanied by a significant increase in active cytokinin content in transgenic rice leaves, suggesting that the increase in biomass productivity and sugar release could at least in part be associated with improved cytokinin levels caused by repression of cytokinin degrading enzymes. Our study provides a new tool for improving biomass feedstock yield in bioenergy crops, and uncovers a novel mechanistic insight in the function of STF, which may also apply to other repressive WOX genes that are master regulators of several key plant developmental programs. © 2017 Wang et al.

Wang Y.,Oklahoma State University | Jha A.K.,Oklahoma State University | Chen R.,Plant Biology Division | Doonan J.H.,John Innes Center | Yang M.,Oklahoma State University
Genesis | Year: 2010

Formation of polyploid organisms by fertilization of unreduced gametes in meiotic mutants is believed to be a common phenomenon in species evolution. However, not well understood is how species in nature generally exist as haploid and diploid organisms in a long evolutionary time while polyploidization must have repeatedly occurred via meiotic mutations. Here, we show that the ploidy increased for two consecutive generations due to unreduced but viable gametes in the Arabidopsis cyclin a1; 2-2 (also named tardy asynchronous meiosis-2)mutant but the resultant octaploid plants produced progeny of either the same or reduced ploidy via genomic reductions during meiosis and pollen mitosis. Ploidy reductions through sexual reproduction were also observed in independently generated artificial octaploid and hexaploid Arabidopsis plants. These results demonstrate that octa-ploid is likely the maximal ploidy produced through sexual reproduction in Arabidopsis. The polyploidy-associated genomic instability may be a general phenomenon that constrains ploidy levels in species evolution. genesis 48: 254-263, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Xu P.,Plant Biology Division | Wang H.,Plant Biology Division | Coker F.,Plant Biology Division | Ma J.-Y.I.,Plant Biology Division | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions | Year: 2012

Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) associated with D satellite RNA (satRNA) causes lethal systemic necrosis (LSN) in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), which involves programmed cell death. No resistance to this disease has been found in tomato. We obtained a line of wild tomato, S. habrochaitis, with a homogeneous non-lethal response (NLR) to the infection. This line of S. habrochaitis was crossed with tomato to generate F1 plants that survived the infection with NLR, indicating that NLR is a dominant trait. The NLR trait was successfully passed on to the next generation. The phenotype and genotype segregation was analyzed in the first backcross population. The analyses indicate that the NLR trait is determined by quantitative trait loci (QTL). Major QTL associated with the NLR trait were mapped to chromosomes 5 and 12. Results from Northern blot and in situ hybridization analyses revealed that the F1 and S. habrochaitis plants accumulated minus-strand satRNA more slowly than tomato, and fewer vascular cells were infected. In addition, D satRNA-induced LSN in tomato is correlated with higher accumulation of the minus-strand satRNA compared with the accumulation of the minus strand of a non-necrogenic mutant D satRNA. © 2012 The American Phytopathological Society.

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