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Utilizing MIKC-type MADS-box protein SOC1 for yield potential enhancement in maize.

Authors
  • Song, Guo-Qing1
  • Han, Xue2
  • Ryner, John T2
  • Thompson, Addie3
  • Wang, Kan4
  • 1 Department of Horticulture, Plant Biotechnology Resource and Outreach Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA. [email protected]
  • 2 Department of Horticulture, Plant Biotechnology Resource and Outreach Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA.
  • 3 Department of Plant Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA.
  • 4 Department of Agronomy, Crop Bioengineering Center, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50011-1051, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Plant Cell Reports
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2021
Volume
40
Issue
9
Pages
1679–1693
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00299-021-02722-4
PMID: 34091722
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Overexpression of Zea mays SOC gene promotes flowering, reduces plant height, and leads to no reduction in grain production per plant, suggesting enhanced yield potential, at least, through increasing planting density. MIKC-type MADS-box gene SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 (SOC1) is an integrator conserved in the plant flowering pathway. In this study, the maize SOC1 (ZmSOC1) gene was cloned and overexpressed in transgenic maize Hi-II genotype. The T0 plants were backcrossed with nontransgenic inbred B73 to produce first generation backcross (BC1) seeds. Phenotyping of both transgenic and null segregant (NT) BC1 plants was conducted in three independent experiments. The BC1 transgenic plants showed new attributes such as increased vegetative growth, accelerated flowering time, reduced overall plant height, and increased grain weight. Second generation backcross (BC2) plants were evaluated in the field using two planting densities. Compared to BC2 NT plants, BC2 transgenic plants, were 12-18% shorter, flowered 5 days earlier, and showed no reduction in grain production per plant and an increase in fat, starch, and simple sugars in the grain. Transcriptome comparison in young leaves of 56-day-old BC1 plants revealed that the overexpressed ZmSOC1 resulted in 107 differentially expressed genes. The upregulated transcription factor DNA BINDING WITH ONE FINGER 5.4 (DOF5.4) was among the genes responsible for the reduced plant height. Modulating expression of SOC1 opens a new and effective approach to promote flowering and reduce plant height, which may have potential to enhance crop yield and improve grain quality. © 2021. The Author(s).

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