Transposon Tagging in Strawberry and Potato and Characterization of Representative Strawberry Mutants
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Strawberry and potato are both important crop species in the world providing various nutritional values. The cultivated strawberry, Fragaria ananassa, is a fruit crop with a complex genome (2n=8x=56) whereas the diploid woodland strawberry, Fragaria vesca, has a smaller genome (2n=2x=14, 240 Mb) and lots of other qualities that make it a good model for genetic and genomic study, such as high yield of seeds and efficient transformation. Potato (Solanum tuberosum, 2n=4x=48) is an important vegetable crop in the world and is highly heterozygous. The successful sequencing of the homozygous doubled monoploid clone of potato provides good insight into the study of important genes in this species in improving the pest resistance and improving yield. One approach to characterize gene function in a model system is having large populations of T-DNA insertional or transposon tagged mutants. The idea of using AcDs construct to create transposon tagged mutant populations has also been applied in many species. Here we transformed two species, Fragaria vesca and a monoploid potato, Solanum phureja 1-3-516, which is the progenitor of the sequenced doubled monoploid clone, with the same AcDs construct, Ac-DsATag-Bar_gosGFP, to generate mutant collection, compare the marker gene performance and transposition efficiency, as well as characterizing phenotypic mutants with genes of interest. Transposants were found to reinsert to unlinked sites from the launch pad site in the strawberry genome, whereas in potato transposants tended to locate locally from the launch pad position when using the same construct. One transposon based activation tagging strawberry mutant, with its insertion in the promoter region of gene of interest in strawberry from the Ac-DsATag-Bar_gosGFP population was studied. In a segregating T2 population, expression level of the candidate gene, epidermis-specific secreted glycoprotein EP1 precursor, was 670 fold higher in petioles of homozygotes than in wild type plants, suggesting the function of this gene involved in maintaining mechanical strength of petioles. Since the often-used transposase gene was cloned from the monocot species maize, the efficiency of obtaining germinal transposants was many times lower than expected in order to saturate the genome for diploid species. In order to improve the chance of getting unique transposants, we attempted to codon optimize the transposase gene, as well as switching to microspore specific promoters that had been well characterized to control timing of expression of the transposase gene. Transposants were found in both T0 primary regenerates and anther culture derived potatoes using both the pAcDs-AtSCP and pAcDs-AmDEFH125 constructs. Sequencing of the empty donor site revealed that excision occurred in different cells during anther culture. A strawberry mutant with sugar transport deficiency due to T-DNA insertion near a sucrose transporter-2 gene showing stunted phenotype with increased level of anthocyanin was also characterized. The concentrations of sucrose, glucose, and fructose were significantly greater in source leaves of the mutant than wild type plants, suggesting these compounds might be substrates of this gene in transporting to sink leaves and roots.
- Doctoral Dissertations