Genetic basis for glandular trichome formation in cotton
Trichomes originate from epidermal cells and can be classified as either glandular or non-glandular. Gossypium species are characterized by the presence of small and darkly pigmented lysigenous glands that contain large amounts of gossypol. Here, using a dominant glandless mutant, we characterize GoPGF, which encodes a basic helix-loop-helix domain-containing transcription factor, that we propose is a positive regulator of gland formation. Silencing GoPGF leads to a completely glandless phenotype. A single nucleotide insertion in GoPGF, introducing a premature stop codon is found in the duplicate recessive glandless mutant (gl2gl3). The characterization of GoPGF helps to unravel the regulatory network of glandular structure biogenesis, and has implications for understanding the production of secondary metabolites in glands. It also provides a potential molecular basis to generate glandless seed and glanded cotton to not only supply fibre and oil but also provide a source of protein for human consumption.
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