This study was funded by the University of Missouri Food for the 21st Century Program.
Overexpression of a serine carboxypeptidase increases carpel number and seed production in Arabidopsis thaliana
Version of Record online: 8 JUL 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Food and Energy Security
Volume 1, Issue 1, pages 61–69, July 2012
How to Cite
Food and Energy Security 2012; 1(1): 61-69
- Issue online: 25 JUL 2012
- Version of Record online: 8 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 10 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Received: 22 MAY 2012
- University of Missouri Food for the 21st Century Program.
- Arabidopsis ;
- ECS1 ;
- seed production;
- serine carboxypeptidases
Seed production is an ultimate component of crop yield. Increasing seed production has long been a pursuit for crop breeders and is an indisputable measure of food safety. Advances in biotechnology can provide novel means to achieve increased seed production by genetic engineering. Overexpression of ECS1 (Extra Carpels and Seeds), a gene encoding a serine carboxypeptidase, partially suppresses the leaf phenotypes of mutant bri1-5, a weak allele of brassinosteroid-insensitive 1 (BRI1). Moreover, overexpression of ECS1 increases the number of carpels and seeds per fruit (silique) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Most of the ECS1-overexpressing lines have three-carpel siliques instead of two-carpel siliques found in wild type, while some even have four-carpel siliques. Wild-type plants have an average seed number of 66.2 ± 3.6 per silique, whereas ECS1-overexpressing lines contain 88.1 ± 4.1 seeds per silique. The total seed weight per silique increases by about 33% in ECS1-overexpressing plants due to the increased total number of seeds. In addition, ECS1 overexpression enhances the multi-carpel phenotypes in clavata3-2 and causes severely fasciated stems in det2 mutants. To the best of our knowledge, it has not been previously shown that overexpressions of genes that encode serine carboxypeptidases are implicated in reproductive development or produce an increased carpel and seed numbers in any plant species.