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An LTR retrotransposon insertion inside CsERECTA for an LRR receptor-like serine/threonine-protein kinase results in compact (cp) plant architecture in cucumber
Thursday, 2023/03/16 | 07:56:02

Feifan ChenJianpeng YongGaoyuan ZhangMengying LiuQiqi WangHuili ZhongYupeng PanPeng ChenYiqun Weng & Yuhong Li 


The compact (cp) phenotype in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) is an important plant architecture-related trait with a great potential for cucumber improvement. In this study, we conducted map-based cloning of the cp locus, identified and functionally characterized the candidate gene. Comparative microscopic analysis suggested that the short internode in the cp mutant is due to fewer cell numbers. Fine genetic mapping delimited cp into an 8.8-kb region on chromosome 4 harboring only one gene, CsERECTA (CsER) that encodes a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase. A 5.5-kb insertion of a long terminal repeat retrotransposon in the 22nd exon resulted in loss-of-function of CsER in the cp plant. Spatiotemporal expression analysis in cucumber and CsER promoter-driven GUS assays in Arabidopsis indicated that CsER was highly expressed in the stem apical meristem and young organs, but the expression level was similar in the wild type and mutant cucumber plants. However, CsER protein accumulation was reduced in the mutant as revealed by western hybridization. The mutation in cp also did not seem to affect self-association of CsER for formation of dimers. Ectopic expression of CsER in Arabidopsis was able to rescue the plant height of the loss-of-function AtERECTA mutant, whereas the compact inflorescence and small rosette leaves of the mutant could be partially recovered. Transcriptome profiling in the mutant and wild type cucumber plants revealed hormone biosynthesis/signaling, and photosynthesis pathways associated with CsER-dependent regulatory network. Our work provides new insights for the use of cp in cucumber breeding.


See https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-023-04273-6

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