Upregulation of a KN1 homolog by transposon insertion promotes leafy head development in lettuce

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Date: Dec. 29, 2020
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Document Type: Report
Length: 9,897 words
Lexile Measure: 1380L

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Abstract :

Leafy head is a unique type of plant architecture found in some vegetable crops, with leaves bending inward to form a compact head. The genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying leafy head in vegetables remain poorly understood. We genetically fine-mapped and cloned a major quantitative trait locus controlling heading in lettuce. The candidate gene (LsKN1) is a homolog of knotted 1 (KN1) from Zea mays. Complementation and CRISPR/Cas9 knockout experiments confirmed the role of LsKN1 in heading. In heading lettuce, there is a CACTA-like transposon inserted into the first exon of LsKN1 (LsKN1[nabla]). The transposon sequences act as a promoter rather than an enhancer and drive high expression of LsKN1[nabla]. The enhanced expression of LsKN1[nabla] is necessary but not sufficient for heading in lettuce. Data from ChIP-sequencing, electrophoretic mobility shift assays, and dual luciferase assays indicate that the LsKN1[nabla] protein binds the promoter of LsAS1 and down-regulates its expression to alter leaf dorsoventrality. This study provides insight into plant leaf development and will be useful for studies on heading in other vegetable crops. leafy head | transposon | leaf development | dorsoventrality

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Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A648164785