Isolation and characterisation of a banana CYCD2;1 gene and its over-expression enhances root growth
Stimulation of the cell cycle by over-expression of Arabidopsis CyclinD2;1 enhanced growth in tobacco and rice, but not Arabidopsis. To broaden the range of species and to improve an important crop species for developing countries, a CyclinD2;1 homologue was isolated from an East African highland banana cultivar ‘Nakasabira’ (Musa spp., AAA group) and designated Musac;CYCD2;1 (Genebank accession no HQ839770). Musac;CYCD2;1 amino-acid sequence exhibited 40, 54, 57 and 57% identity with CYCD2;1 sequences of Arabidopsis, rice, maize and wheat, respectively. Over-expression of Musac;CYCD2;1 driven by the CaMV 35S promoter in cultivar ‘Sukali ndizi’ (AAB) resulted in transformed plants with no significant increase in total banana CYCD2;1 transcripts in the shoot, but up to 66-fold increase of total banana CYCD2;1 transcripts in roots. Correspondingly, transformed plants had no change in above-ground growth but produced longer main roots and more lateral roots under in vitro conditions. A deeper root system was observed in one transgenic line relative to non-transformed plants when grown in soil. Results demonstrate that a banana homologue of Arabidopsis CYCD2;1 can also enhance growth in a homologous background and the potential of enhancing banana root growth.
Key words: CyclinD2;1 gene, Musa spp., banana transformation, CyclinD2;1 over-expression, root growth.