Crop Biotech Update

Comparative Analysis of Cotton Near Isogenic Lines Reveal Genes Related to High Fiber Strength

February 10, 2016

Fiber strength is usually measured through bundle fiber strength (BFS) assessed from bundles of fibers. However, BFS is not always correlated with individual yarn strength and mechanisms responsible for its regulation remain unknown.

USDA-ARS researchers, led by Md S. Islam, studied the mechanisms involved in individual fiber strength using Gossypium hirsutum near isogenic lines (NILs), MD52ne and MD90ne, which exhibit varying BFS. Analyses revealed that the higher bundle strength of MD52ne resulted from high individual fiber strength with minor contributions from its high fiber length.

Transcriptome analyses showed that the high individual fiber strength could be related to two signaling pathways: ethylene and the phytohormonal pathways involved in cotton fiber elongation, and receptor-like kinases (RLKs) signaling pathways involved in cell wall integrity. Multiple RLKs were found differentially expressed in the fibers. Furthermore, several candidate genes involved in crystalline cellulose assembly were upregulated in MD52ne fibers.

Comparative analyses revealed differential expressions of the genes involved in crystalline cellulose assembly, ethylene and RLK signaling pathways between the MD52ne and MD90ne developing fibers.

For more information on the study, read the full article in BMC Plant Biology.