Biotech Updates

Researchers Study Cotton Kinesin Gene GhKIS13A1

June 21, 2017

Cotton fiber is differentiated from single cell of ovule epidermis. A number of genes are involved in fiber formation, however, only a few fiber genes have been studied. The Kinesin 13 subfamily was found to play vital roles during cell division and cell elongation, and is believed to be involved in the regulation of cotton fiber development.

Yan-Jun Li and Shou-Hong Zhu from the Shihezi University in China cloned and studied the GhKIS13A1 gene, a member of the Kinesin 13 subfamily. Analysis showed that GhKIS13A1 maintained low expression levels during cotton fiber development. Assays also showed that the GhKIS13A1 protein has microtubule binding activity and basal ATPase activity that can be activated significantly by the presence of microtubules.

Overexpression of GhKIS13A1 in Arabidopsis reduced leaf trichomes and the percentage of three-branch trichomes, and increased two-branch and shriveled trichomes. Furthermore, when expressed in the Arabidopsis Kinesin-13a-1 mutant, GhKIS13A1 rescued the defective trichome branching of the mutant, making it normal.

These results suggest that GhKIS13A1 regulates the number and branching pattern of leaf trichomes. With the similarities between cotton fibers and Arabidopsis trichomes, it is believed that GhKIS13A1 may also be involved in the regulation of cotton fiber development.

For more on this study, read the article in BMC Biotechnology.