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Crop Biotech Update

Alfalfa STF Gene Alters Leaf Width, Flowering Time and Chlorophyll Content in Wheat

July 12, 2017

Previous studies have revealed that the WUSCHEL-related homeobox (WOX) gene superfamily regulates several pathways in plant development. The WOX family member STENOFOLIA (STF), is known to be involved in leaf expansion in the dicot alfalfa Medicago truncutula. The research team led by Meiyan Liu from Jiangsu Normal University in China investigated the STF gene and expressed it in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum).

The transgenic plants expressing STF showed widened leaves as well as accelerated flowering and increased chlorophyll content. These desirable traits were also found to be stably inherited in the progeny. The STF protein was found to bind to wheat genes that have the (GA)n/(CT)n DNA cis element suggesting a mechanism for pleiotropic effects.

These results show that the STF gene from a dicot can be used to regulate leaf width, flowering time and chlorophyll content in the monocot wheat.

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