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Overexpression of the phytochrome B gene from Arabidopsis thaliana increases plant growth and yield of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum)

Abdul Qayyum RAO,Muhammad IRFAN,Zafar SALEEM,Idrees Ahmad NASIR,Sheikh RIAZUDDIN,Tayyab HUSNAIN (National Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology,Lahore 53700,Pakistan)  
The phytochrome B (PHYB) gene of Arabidopsis thaliana was introduced into cotton through Agrobacterium tumefaciens.Integration and expression of PHYB gene in cotton plants were confirmed by molecular evidence.Messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in one of the transgenic lines,QCC11,was much higher than those of control and other transgenic lines.Transgenic cotton plants showed more than a two-fold increase in photosynthetic rate and more than a four-fold increase in transpiration rate and stomatal conductance.The increase in photosynthetic rate led to a 46% increase in relative growth rate and an 18% increase in net assimilation rate.Data recorded up to two generations,both in the greenhouse and in the field,revealed that overexpression of Arabidopsis thaliana PHYB gene in transgenic cotton plants resulted in an increase in the production of cotton by improving the cotton plant growth,with 35% more yield.Moreover,the presence of the Arabidopsis thaliana PHYB gene caused pleiotropic effects like semi-dwarfism,decrease in apical dominance,and increase in boll size.
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