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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Downregulation of the INDEHISCENT Gene by RNAi Resulted in Desired Pod Shatter Reduction of Lepidium campestre in Subsequent Generations

Ivarson, Emelie; Ahlman, Annelie; Englund, Jan-Eric; Lager, Ida; Zhu, Li-Hua

Abstract

Wild species field cress (Lepidium campestre) has favorable agronomic traits, making it a good candidate for future development as an oil and catch crop. However, the species is very prone to pod shatter, resulting in severe yield losses. This is one of the important agronomic traits that needs to be improved in order to make this species economically viable. In this study, we cloned the L. campestre INDEHISCENT (LcIND) gene and prepared two LcIND-RNAi constructs with the IND promoter (long 400 bp and short 200 bp) from Arabidopsis. A number of stable transgenic lines were developed and evaluated in terms of pod shatter resistance. The majority of the transgenic lines showed increased resistance to pod shatter compared to the wild type, and this resistance was maintained in four subsequent generations. The downregulation of the LcIND gene by RNAi in the transgenic lines was confirmed by qRT-PCR analysis on T-3 lines. Southern blot analysis showed that most of the analyzed lines had a single-copy integration of the transgene, which is desirable for further use. Our results show that it is possible to generate stable transgenic lines with desirable pod shatter resistance by downregulating the LcIND gene using RNAi in field cress, and thus speeding up the domestication process of this wild species.

Keywords

Brassica species; field cress; oilseed and catch crop; RNAi; pod shatter; IND gene

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Publisher: MDPI