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Root enhancement in cytokinin-deficient oilseed rape causes leaf mineral enrichment, increases the chlorophyll concentration under nutrient limitation and enhances the phytoremediation capacity.

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Cytokinin is a negative regulator of root growth, and a reduction of the cytokinin content or signalling causes the formation a larger root system in model plants, improves their growth under drought and nutrient limitation and causes increased accumulation of elements in the shoot. Roots are an important but understudied target of plant breeding. Here we have therefore explored whether root enhancement by lowering the cytokinin content can also be achieved in oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) plants. RESULTS:Transgenic plants overexpressing the CKX2 gene of Arabidopsis thaliana encoding a cytokinin-degrading cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase showed higher CKX activity and a strongly reduced cytokinin content. Cytokinin deficiency led to the formation of a larger root system under different growth conditions, which was mainly due to an increased number of lateral and adventitious roots. In contrast, shoot growth was comparable to wild type, which caused an enhanced root-to-shoot ratio. Transgenic plants accumulated in their leaves higher concentrations of macro- and microelements including P, Ca, Mg, S, Zn, Cu, Mo and Mn. They formed more chlorophyll under Mg- and S-deficiency and accumulated a larger amount of Cd and Zn from contaminated medium and soil. CONCLUSIONS:These findings demonstrate the usefulness of ectopic CKX gene expression to achieve root enhancement in oilseed rape and underpin the functional relevance of a larger root system. Furthermore, the lack of major developmental consequences on shoot growth in cytokinin-deficient oilseed rape indicates species-specific differences of CKX gene and/or cytokinin action.

SUBMITTER: Nehnevajova E 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6381662 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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