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Article

Effective RNAi-Mediated Silencing of the Mismatch Repair MSH2 Gene Induces Sterility of Tomato Plants but Not an Increase in Meiotic Recombination

1
All-Russia Research Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology, 127550 Moscow, Russia
2
Biological Faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119234 Moscow, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kejian Wang and Nico De Storme
Genes 2021, 12(8), 1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081167
Received: 11 June 2021 / Revised: 20 July 2021 / Accepted: 26 July 2021 / Published: 29 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Regulation of Meiosis in Plants)
In plant breeding, the ability to manipulate meiotic recombination aids in the efficient construction of new allelic compositions of chromosomes and facilitates gene transfer from wild relatives of crop plants. The DNA mismatch repair system antagonizes meiotic recombination. In this research, a trial was conducted to evaluate transgenic tomato plants carrying an RNA interference (RNAi) construct designed to inhibit the expression of the mismatch repair MSH2 gene. To drive the RNAi construct, we used either a pro-SmAMP2 promoter from Stellaria media ANTIMICROBIAL PEPTIDE2 or a Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter (CaMV35S). The results of real-time PCR showed that, with a 16 h light/8 h dark photoperiod, MSH2-RNAi tomato transgenic plants exhibited MSH2 gene transcript contents ranging from 0% to 3% in the leaves, relative to untransformed controls. However, with this lighting mode, the MSH2-RNAi transgenic plants grew slowly, flowered poorly, and did not form seed sets. During cultivation with a 12 h light/12 h dark photoperiod, MSH2-RNAi transgenic plants exhibited MSH2 gene transcript contents ranging from 3% to 42%, relative to untransformed controls. Under these conditions, F1 hybrid seed sets formed for most of the MSH2-RNAi transgenic plants with the RNAi construct driven by the CaMV35S promoter, and for one transformant with the RNAi construct driven by the pro-SmAMP2 promoter. Under conditions of a 12 h light/12 h dark photoperiod, most of the F1 transgenic hybrids showed MSH2 gene transcript contents ranging from 3% to 34% and formed F2 offspring sets, which made it possible to assess the meiotic recombination frequency. We showed that the effective inhibition of MSH2 in MSH2-RNAi tomato transgenic plants is not associated with an increase in meiotic recombination compared to the control, but it stimulates the sterility of plants. It was established that the expression of the MSH2 gene in tomato plants is about 50 times higher with a 12 h light/12 h dark than with a 16 h light/8 h dark photoperiod. It is discussed that, in Solanum lycopersicum tomato plants, which are not sensitive to the day length for flowering, changing the lighting time may be a means of controlling the meiotic recombination frequency within certain limits. View Full-Text
Keywords: meiosis; crossing over; MSH2 gene; DNA mismatch repair; recombination; tomato meiosis; crossing over; MSH2 gene; DNA mismatch repair; recombination; tomato
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MDPI and ACS Style

Strelnikova, S.R.; Krinitsina, A.A.; Komakhin, R.A. Effective RNAi-Mediated Silencing of the Mismatch Repair MSH2 Gene Induces Sterility of Tomato Plants but Not an Increase in Meiotic Recombination. Genes 2021, 12, 1167. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081167

AMA Style

Strelnikova SR, Krinitsina AA, Komakhin RA. Effective RNAi-Mediated Silencing of the Mismatch Repair MSH2 Gene Induces Sterility of Tomato Plants but Not an Increase in Meiotic Recombination. Genes. 2021; 12(8):1167. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081167

Chicago/Turabian Style

Strelnikova, Svetlana R., Anastasiya A. Krinitsina, and Roman A. Komakhin. 2021. "Effective RNAi-Mediated Silencing of the Mismatch Repair MSH2 Gene Induces Sterility of Tomato Plants but Not an Increase in Meiotic Recombination" Genes 12, no. 8: 1167. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081167

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