The genes of α-expansins of woody plants are of great interest for genetic engineering, since they can potentially be used to improve the tree growth parameters. In the flora of Russia, model woody plants for plant biotechnology are aspen (Populus tremula L.) and black poplar (Populus nigra L.). The objective of this study was to determine the role of α-expansin-encoding genes, aspen PtrEXPA3 and black poplar PnEXPA3, in the regulation and maintenance of woody plant growth. To achieve this goal, the PtrEXPA3 expression level were determined upon exogenous phytohormone treatment, the action of stress factors, and constitutive expression of the PnARGOS-LIKE gene. In addition, transgenic aspen plants with constitutive expression of the black poplar PnEXPA3 gene were generated, and their morphological analysis was carried out. The highest PtrEXPA3 mRNA level was detected in young intensely growing aspen leaves, and furthermore, expression of the gene was induced by exogenous cytokinins and auxins. In response to NaCl and constitutive expression of the PnARGOS-LIKE gene, the PtrEXPA3 mRNA level decreased. Transgenic aspen plants with constitutive PnEXPA3 expression were characterized by the decreased size of leaves, petioles, and internodes, as well as the increased size of leaf epidermal cells, while the stem size remained unchanged. Taken together, the data obtained enable the suggestion that the PtrEXPA3 and PnEXPA3 genes encode cytokinin- and auxin-regulated, leaf-specific expansins that are involved in the cell expansion.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 12, 2017
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