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Open AccessArticle

Genome Editing to Integrate Seed Size and Abiotic Stress Tolerance Traits in Arabidopsis Reveals a Role for DPA4 and SOD7 in the Regulation of Inflorescence Architecture

1
College of Life Sciences, Linyi University, Linyi 276005, China
2
Key Laboratory of Molecular Epigenetics of MOE, Institute of Genetics and Cytology, Northeast Normal University, Changchun 130024, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2695; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20112695
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 26 May 2019 / Accepted: 27 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genome Editing in Plants)
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Abstract

Both seed size and abiotic stress tolerance are important agronomic traits in crops. In Arabidopsis, two closely related transcription repressors DPA4 (Development-Related PcG Target in the APEX4)/NGAL3 and SOD7 (Suppressor of da1-1)/NGAL2 (NGATHA-like protein) function redundantly to regulate seed size, which was increased in the dpa4 sod7 double mutants. Whereas ABA-induced transcription repressors (AITRs) are involved in the regulation of ABA signaling and abiotic stress tolerance, Arabidopsis aitr2 aitr5 aitr6 (aitr256) triple mutant showed enhanced tolerance to drought and salt. Here we performed CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to disrupt DPA4 and SOD7 in aitr256 mutant, trying to integrate seed size and abiotic stress tolerance traits in Arabidopsis, and also to examine whether DPA4 and SOD7 may regulate other aspects of plant growth and development. Indeed, seed size was increased in the dpa4 sod7 aitr256 quintuple mutants, and enhanced tolerance to drought was observed in the mutants. In addition, we found that shoot branching was affected in the dpa4 sod7 aitr256 mutants. The mutant plants failed to produce secondary branches, and flowers/siliques were distributed irregularly on the main stems of the plants. Floral organ number and fertility were also affected in the dpa4 sod7 aitr256 mutant plants. To examine if these phenotypes were dependent on loss-of-function of AITRs, dpa4 sod7 double mutants were generated in Col wild type background, and we found that the dpa4 sod7 mutant plants showed a phenotype similar to the dpa4 sod7 aitr256 quintuple mutants. Taken together, our results indicate that the integration of seed size and abiotic stress tolerance traits by CRISPR/Cas9 editing was successful, and our results also revealed a role of DPA4 and SOD7 in the regulation of inflorescence architecture in Arabidopsis. View Full-Text
Keywords: seed size; abiotic stress; AITRs; SOD7; DPA4; shoot branching; Arabidopsis seed size; abiotic stress; AITRs; SOD7; DPA4; shoot branching; Arabidopsis
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Chen, S.; Zhang, N.; Zhang, Q.; Zhou, G.; Tian, H.; Hussain, S.; Ahmed, S.; Wang, T.; Wang, S. Genome Editing to Integrate Seed Size and Abiotic Stress Tolerance Traits in Arabidopsis Reveals a Role for DPA4 and SOD7 in the Regulation of Inflorescence Architecture. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 2695.

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