Title page for ETD etd-09012012-163400

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Kedisso, Endale Gebre
Email endale.gebre@fabi.up.ac.za
URN etd-09012012-163400
Document Title Manipulation of gibberellin biosynthesis for the control of plant height in Eragrostis tef for lodging resistance
Degree PhD
Department Plant Science
Advisor Name Title
Dr U Schluter Co-Supervisor
Prof K Kunert Supervisor
  • gibberellin biosynthsis
  • Eragrostis tef
  • control of plant height
Date 2012-09-07
Availability unrestricted
Lodging is a key agronomic problem in E. tef. due to morpho-physiological features, such tall and slender phenotype of the plant. Gibberellins metabolic genes are key targets in the control of plant height. Plant growth regulators (PGRs) that inhibit GA biosynthesis are used to shorten stem length thereby increasing lodging resistance. E. tef responded to treatment with PGRs such as GA, chlormequat chloride (CCC) and paclobutrazol (PBZ). Both PGRs reduced E. tef plant height but CCC treatment did not affect grain yield. Stem diameter was not affected by PGR treatment and also not the poor tapering (acropitally increasing diameter).

Putatively transformed E. tef plants carrying a bean GA 2-oxidase (PcGA2ox) coding sequence were further produced via embryogenic callus after Agrobacterium-mediated transformation and plants were successfully grown into mature fertile plants. Eight putative transformed plants were finally generated carrying the insert (PcGA20 ox or nptII gene sequence) at the T0 generation. Constitutive expression of the GA 2-oxidase (PcGA2ox) coding sequence in E. tef resulted in phenotypic changes such as reduction in culm height, change in biomass, reduction in amount of GA in putative transformant semi-dwarf plants. The challenges found in the transgene detection in the T1 generation has been highlighted. Pheno-morphic changes occurred with little or no effect on yield.

Genes involved in height control (orthologs to the rice sd-1 gene) and signaling (Rht) in E. tef were also identified and characterized. Activity of the protein for the putative rice sd-1 orthologs was further confirmed by heterologous expression. The three putative sequences in E. tef were named EtGA20ox1a, EtGA20ox1b and EtGA20ox2. Expression analysis showed that EtGA20ox2 were much less transcribed compared to the others and EtGA20ox1b could be the functional equivalent to the rice sd-1 (OsGA20ox2) gene in E. tef.

Further, E. tef mutants with a semi-dwarf phenotype could be developed through mutagenesis and TILLING. However, regardless of height, grain yield was severely reduced in all mutants except in the semi-dwarf mutant GA-10. This line also had significantly higher diameter in most internodes which might contribute to the stiffness of stem. G-10 is therefore a promising line for further investigations.

2012 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Kedisso, EG 2012, Manipulation of gibberellin biosynthesis for the control of plant height in Eragrostis tef for lodging resistance, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-09012012-163400/ >


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