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Constitutive or seed-specific overexpression of Arabidopsis G-protein γ subunit 3 (AGG3) results in increased seed and oil production and improved stress tolerance in Camelina sativa



Heterotrimeric G-proteins consisting of Gα, Gβ and Gγ subunits play an integral role in mediating multiple signalling pathways in plants. A novel, recently identified plant-specific Gγ protein, AGG3, has been proposed to be an important regulator of organ size and mediator of stress responses in Arabidopsis, whereas its potential homologs in rice are major quantitative trait loci for seed size and panicle branching. To evaluate the role of AGG3 towards seed and oil yield improvement, the gene was overexpressed in Camelina sativa, an oilseed crop of the Brassicaceae family. Analysis of multiple homozygous T4 transgenic Camelina lines showed that constitutive overexpression of AGG3 resulted in faster vegetative as well as reproductive growth accompanied by an increase in photosynthetic efficiency. Moreover, when expressed constitutively or specifically in seed tissue, AGG3 was found to increase seed size, seed mass and seed number per plant by 15%–40%, effectively resulting in significantly higher oil yield per plant. AGG3 overexpressing Camelina plants also exhibited improved stress tolerance. These observations draw a strong link between the roles of AGG3 in regulating two critical yield parameters, seed traits and plant stress responses, and reveal an effective biotechnological tool to dramatically increase yield in agricultural crops.

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