Silencing of TaCKX1 Mediates Expression of Other TaCKX Genes to Increase Yield Parameters in Wheat
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
TaCKX, Triticum aestivum (cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase) family genes influence the development of wheat plants by the specific regulation of cytokinin content in different organs. However, their detailed role is not known. The TaCKX1, highly and specifically expressed in developing spikes and in seedling roots, was silenced by RNAi-mediated gene silencing via Agrobacterium tumefaciens and the effect of silencing was investigated in 7 DAP (days after pollination) spikes of T1 and T2
... T1 and T2 generations. Various levels of TaCKX1 silencing in both generations influence different models of co-expression with other TaCKX genes and parameters of yield-related traits. Only a high level of silencing in T2 resulted in strong down-regulation of TaCKX11 (3), up-regulation of TaCKX2.1, 2.2, 5, and 9 (10), and a high yielding phenotype. This phenotype is characterized by a higher spike number, grain number, and grain yield, but lower thousand grain weight (TGW). The content of most of cytokinin forms in 7 DAP spikes of silenced T2 lines increased from 23% to 76% compared to the non-silenced control. The CKs cross talk with other phytohormones. Each of the tested yield-related traits is regulated by various up- or down-regulated TaCKX genes and phytohormones. The coordinated effect of TaCKX1 silencing on the expression of other TaCKX genes, phytohormone levels in 7 DAP spikes, and yield-related traits in silenced T2 lines is presented.