Overexpression of NtAGPase small subunit gene increases leaf starch content and tobacco biomass

Sheng Wu Gong Cheng Xue Bao. 2021 Aug 25;37(8):2845-2855. doi: 10.13345/j.cjb.210149.


Production of biofuels such as ethanol from non-grain crops may contribute to alleviating the global energy crisis and reducing the potential threat to food security. Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is a commercial crop with high biomass yield. Breeding of starch-rich tobacco plants may provide alternative raw materials for the production of fuel ethanol. We cloned the small subunit gene NtSSU of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (NtAGPase), which controls starch biosynthesis in tobacco, and constructed a plant expression vector pCAMBIA1303-NtSSU. The NtSSU gene was overexpressed in tobacco upon Agrobacterium-mediated leaf disc transformation. Phenotypic analysis showed that overexpression of NtSSU gene promoted the accumulation of starch in tobacco leaves, and the content of starch in tobacco leaves increased from 17.5% to 41.7%. The growth rate and biomass yield of the transgenic tobacco with NtSSU gene were also significantly increased. The results revealed that overexpression of NtSSU gene could effectively redirect more photosynthesis carbon flux into starch biosynthesis pathway, which led to an increased biomass yield but did not generate negative effects on other agronomic traits. Therefore, NtSSU gene can be used as an excellent target gene in plant breeding to enrich starch accumulation in vegetative organs to develop new germplasm dedicated to fuel ethanol production.

PMID:34472302 | DOI:10.13345/j.cjb.210149


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