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Crop Biotech Update

Gene Controlling Megaspore Mitosis in Arabidopsis Found

July 25, 2018

The female gametophyte is important to facilitate sexual reproduction in higher plants. However, not much is known about the molecular mechanisms of its development. The team of Lin-Xiao Li from China Agricultural University recently studied the Arabidopsis thaliana NOP10 gene (AtNOP10), and its role in female gametophyte formation.

Analysis revealed that the AtNOP10 protein was expressed in seedling and reproductive tissues. It also shares a high level of amino acid sequence similarity with Saccharomyces cerevisiae NOP10 (ScNOP10).

To study its role, the team developed CRISPR-edited mutants with knocked out AtNOP10 gene. The knock-out resulted in the interruption of mitosis of the functional megaspore during early development. It also prevented the polar nuclear fusion in the embryo sacs.

The AtNOP10 gene was found to influence megaspore mitosis and polar nuclear fusion during gametophyte formation in Arabidopsis.

For more information, read the article in Journal of Integrative Plant Biology.