2011 Volume 28 Issue 2 Pages 131-140
Chimeric REpressor gene-Silencing Technology (CRES-T) is a powerful gene-silencing tool to analyze the function of Arabidopsis transcription factors. To investigate whether CRES-T is also applicable to horticultural plants inadequate for genetic engineering because of their limited molecular biological characterization and polyploidy, we applied CRES-T to torenia and the hexaploid chrysanthemum and produced their transgenic plants expressing the chimeric repressor derived from the Arabidopsis TEOSINTE BRANCHED1, CYCLOIDEA, and PCF family transcription factor 3 (TCP3) fused with a plant-specific transcriptional repression domain named SRDX, consisting of 12 amino acids originated from the EAR-motif (TCP3-SRDX). Transgenic torenia and chrysanthemum expressing TCP3-SRDX exhibited fringed leaves and short pistils, while those expressing TCP3 fused with either the mutated repression domain (TCP3-mSRDX) or the overexpressor of TCP3 (TCP3-ox) did not exhibit phenotypic changes. In addition to fringed leaves, TCP3-SRDX transgenic torenia plants exhibited petals with fringed margins, distinctive color patterns, and reduced anthocyanin accumulation. In TCP3-SRDX transgenic chrysanthemum plants, floral organ development was suppressed as compared with the wild type. These results indicate that the Arabidopsis-derived TCP3-SRDX induced morphological changes in transgenic torenia and chrysanthemum although the observed phenotypes partially differ from each other. CRES-T may function in various plant species including polyploid species and modify their biological characteristics.