Crop Biotech Update

Analysis of Block of cell proliferation 1 (BOP1) Function in Strawberry and Arabidopsis

February 17, 2016

Block of cell proliferation (BOP) proteins play roles in ribosome biogenesis and cell cycle regulation in mammals and yeast. A BOP1 orthologue was identified in plants, and loss-of-function analyses in tobacco cells confirmed similar activities. Sofia D. Carvalho, together with University of Florida researchers, characterized the role of BOP1 activity.

Two transgenic plant species were used: the diploid strawberry (Fragaria vesca) and Arabidopsis thaliana. FvBOP1 silencing in strawberry decreased plant fitness prior to flowering, followed by plant death after the reproductive stage, indicating that BOP1 activity is required for transition back to vegetative growth after flowering.

In Arabidopsis, a 50% decrease in transcript accumulation was sufficient to cause severe developmental defects due to defective cell division. The lower transcript levels, resulting in defects in rRNA processing and developmental abnormalities were consistent with its predicted role in ribosome biogenesis. The protein BOP1 was also found essential for seed viability.

For more information, read the article on Plant Science.