Virus-induced Gene Silencing of TaERECTA Increases Stomatal Density in Bread Wheat
Barley stripe mosaic virus (BSMV)-based virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) is an effective strategy for rapid determination of functional genes in wheat plants. ERECTA genes are reported to regulate stomatal pattern of plants, and manipulation of TaERECTA (a homo-logue of ERECTA in bread wheat) is a potential route for investigating stomatal development. Here, the leucine-rich repeat domains (LRRs) and transmembrane domains of TaERECTA were selected to gain BSMV:ER-LR and BSMV:ER-TM constructs, respectively, targeting TaERECTA for silencing in wheat cultivars ‘Bobwhite’ and ‘Cadenza’, to identify the function of TaERECTA on stomatal patterns. The results showed that reduced expression of TaERECTA caused an increased stomatal and epidermal cell density by average 13.5% and 3.3%, respectively, due to the significantly reduced size of leaf epidermal and stomatal cells, and this led to an increase in stomatal conductance. These suggest that modulation of TaERECTA offers further opportunities in stomatal engineering for the adaptation of photosynthesis in wheat.
KeywordsBSMV-VIGS stomatal conductance stomatal density TaERECTA Triticum aestivum L.
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