• Open Access

A comparative study of seed yield parameters in Arabidopsis thaliana mutants and transgenics

Authors

  • Inge Van Daele,

    1. Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Gent, Belgium
    2. Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium
    3. Plant Sciences Unit, Growth and Development Research Area, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Melle, Belgium
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

    • Present address: Department of Molecular and Cellular Interactions, VIB, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.

  • Nathalie Gonzalez,

    1. Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Gent, Belgium
    2. Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Ilse Vercauteren,

    1. Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Gent, Belgium
    2. Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium
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  • Lien de Smet,

    1. Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Gent, Belgium
    2. Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium
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    • Present address: Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Ghent University, 9000 Gent, Belgium.

  • Dirk Inzé,

    1. Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Gent, Belgium
    2. Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium
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  • Isabel Roldán-Ruiz,

    1. Plant Sciences Unit, Growth and Development Research Area, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Melle, Belgium
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  • Marnik Vuylsteke

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Gent, Belgium
    2. Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium
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(fax +32 9 331 38 09; email marnik.vuylsteke@psb.vib-ugent.be)

Summary

Because seed yield is the major factor determining the commercial success of grain crop cultivars, there is a large interest to obtain more understanding of the genetic factors underlying this trait. Despite many studies, mainly in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, have reported transgenes and mutants with effects on seed number and/or seed size, knowledge about seed yield parameters remains fragmented. This study investigated the effect of 46 genes, either in gain- and/or loss-of-function situations, with a total of 64 Arabidopsis lines being examined for seed phenotypes such as seed size, seed number per silique, number of inflorescences, number of branches on the main inflorescence and number of siliques. Sixteen of the 46 genes, examined in 14 Arabidopsis lines, were reported earlier to directly affect in seed size and/or seed number or to indirectly affect seed yield by their involvement in biomass production. Other genes involved in vegetative growth, flower or inflorescence development or cell division were hypothesized to potentially affect the final seed size and seed number. Analysis of this comprehensive data set shows that of the 14 lines previously described to be affected in seed size or seed number, only nine showed a comparable effect. Overall, this study provides the community with a useful resource for identifying genes with effects on seed yield and candidate genes underlying seed QTL. In addition, this study highlights the need for more thorough analysis of genes affecting seed yield.

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