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RNA interference of GhPEPC2 enhanced seed oil accumulation and salt tolerance in Upland cotton

Zhao, Yanpeng, Huang, Yi, Wang, Yumei, Cui, Yupeng, Liu, Zhengjie, Hua, Jinping
Plant science 2018 v.271 pp. 52-61
Gossypium hirsutum, RNA interference, amino acids, cotton, cottonseed, enzyme activity, gene expression, genes, lipid content, lipids, oxaloacetic acid, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase, salt tolerance, salts, seed oils, seedlings, seeds, sequence analysis, shade, sodium, transgenic plants, tricarboxylic acid cycle
Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPCase) mainly produces oxaloacetic acid for tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Here we reported that GhPEPC2 silencing with PEPC2-RNAi vector could regulate oil and protein accumulation in cottonseeds. In GhPEPC2 transgenic plants, PEPCase activities in immature embryos were significantly reduced, and the oil content in seed kernel was increased 7.3 percentages, whereas total proteins decreased 5.65 percentages. Compared to wild type, agronomical traits of transgenic plant were obviously unaffected. Furthermore, gene expression profile of GhPEPC2 transgenic seeds were investigated using RNA-seq, most lipid synthesis related genes were up-regulated, but amino acid metabolic related genes were down-regulated. In addition, the GhPEPC2 transgenic cotton seedlings were stressed using sodium salts at seedling stage, and the salt tolerance was significantly enhanced. Our observations of GhPEPC2 in cotton would shade light on understanding the regulation of oil content, protein accumulation and salt tolerance enhancement in other plants.