W209 Roles for Small RNAs and Transcription Factors in Cotton Fiber Development

Date: Sunday, January 15, 2012
Time: 4:50 PM
Room: Pacific Salon 3
Z. Jeffrey Chen , The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Xueying Guan , The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Gyoungju Nah , The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
David Stelly , Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Each cotton fiber is a single-celled seed trichome or hair, and over 20,000 fibers may develop semi-synchronously on each seed. The molecular basis for seed hair development is unknown but is likely to share many similarities with leaf trichome development in Arabidopsis. Here we show activation of leaf trichome initiation by Gossypium hirsutum MYB2 (GhMYB2), a putative GL1 homolog, and its downstream gene, GhRDL1. GhRDL1, a fiber-related gene with unknown function, was predominately localized around cell walls in stems, sepals, seed coats, and pollen grains. GFP:GhRDL1 and GhMYB2:YFP were co-localized in the nuclei of ectopic trichomes in siliques. Overexpressing GhRDL1 or GhMYB2 in A. thaliana Columbia-0 (Col-0) activated fiber-like hair production in 4-6% of seeds and had on obvious effects on trichome development in leaves or siliques. Co-overexpressing GhRDL1 and GhMYB2 in A. thaliana Col-0 plants increased hair formation in ~8% of seeds. Overexpressing both GhRDL1 and GhMYB2 in A. thaliana Col-0 try mutant plants produced seed hair in ~10% of seeds as well as dense trichomes inside and outside siliques, suggesting synergistic effects of GhRDL1 and GhMYB2 with try on development of trichomes inside and outside of siliques and seed hair in A. thaliana. We also show that 24-nt small RNAs are highly enriched in the ovules and fiber-bearing ovules relative to the leaves, and many miRNAs are differentially expressed during fiber development. Moreover, some transcription factor genes are targets of miRNAs. We suggest that fiber development is regulated by a network of siRNAs, miRNAs and transcription factors.