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An open-flower mutant of Melilotus alba: Potential for floral-dip transformation of a papilionoid legume with a short life cycle?

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
American journal of botany
Publication Date
Volume
97
Issue
3
Pages
395–404
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3732/ajb.0900152
PMID: 21622403
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

This paper describes an open-flower mutant, designated opf, that we discovered in a genetic screen of fast neutron bombardment mutants in an attempt at floral-dip transformation of Melilotus alba (Fabaceae; white sweetclover), an alternative papilionoid legume host for Sinorhizobium meliloti. The opf mutant developed flowers with reflexed sepals and petals, thereby exposing the stamens and carpel, whereas wild-type sweetclover inflorescences developed closed flowers where the young stamens and carpel remain covered during the early stages of flower development. Based on crosses with the wild type, the mutant segregated as a single, Mendelian recessive. Crosses were successful only when the opf mutant served as the female parent, suggesting that the mutant was male sterile. However, no obvious differences from wild-type stamen development were observed in the opf mutant. The anther defect was due to indehiscence. However, as the plants approached the end of their life cycle, the frequency of selfing increased. We also investigated whether the opf mutant could be transformed via Agrobacterium tumefaciens floral-dip infiltration because open flowers like those of Arabidopsis appear to be more readily transformable. However, similar to wild-type M. alba, the opf mutant is refractory to floral-dip transformation by Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

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