Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 41–47 | Cite as

Overexpression of NHL6 affects seed production in transgenic Arabidopsis plants

  • Wei-meng Song
  • Zhi-hao Cheng
  • Xiao-tong Guo
  • Chun-yan Yu
  • Hai-hai Wang
  • Jie Wang
  • Bei Li
  • Hong-xia ZhangEmail author
  • Yan BaoEmail author
Original Paper


In higher plants, NHL (NDR1/HIN1-like) genes play important roles in response to both biotic and abiotic stresses. However, their biological functions in plant growth and development are largely unknown. Previously, we identified an NHL6 gene from Arabidopsis. Overexpression of NHL6 inhibited seed germination under abiotic stress conditions. In this work, we demonstrate that NHL6 also has a function in seed development. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing NHL6 produced shorter siliques and fewer seeds per silique, but increased seed size, leading to decreased seed yield per plant. Pollen viability and meiosis studies did not show any difference between wild type and transgenic plants. In a yeast-two-hybrid screening, a tubby-like F-box protein AtTLP11 was identified as a potential interacting protein of NHL6, which was negatively correlated with NHL6 expression. Our results reveal a critical role of NHL gene in the seed development and a possible connection between NHL and AtTLP families in plants.


Arabidopsis Development NHL6 Seed production 



This work was supported by the National Key Program on Transgenic Research [Grant No. 2018ZX08020002]; the National Key R & D Program of China [Grant No. 2016YFD0600106]; the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant No. 31870576]; the National Major Project of GMO New Species Cultivation [Grant No. 2016ZX08004-002-006]; The Modern Agricultural Industry Technology System Innovation Team of Shandong Province of China [Grant No. SDAIT-02-05]; and Comprehensive Surveys on Saline Lake Lithium and other New Energy Resources in the North Tibetan Plateau [Grant No. DD20160025].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that we do not have any commercial or associative interest that represents a conflict of interest in connection with the work submitted.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of AgricultureLudong UniversityYantaiChina
  2. 2.National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and EcologyChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina
  3. 3.University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesHuairou, BeijingChina
  4. 4.Haikou Experimental StationChinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural SciencesHaikouChina
  5. 5.Departments of Plant BiologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  6. 6.Institute for Advanced Study of Coastal EcologyLudong UniversityYantaiChina
  7. 7.Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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