J Integr Plant Biol.

• New Technology •    

Development of an efficient expression system with large cargo capacity for interrogation of gene function in bamboo based on bamboo mosaic virus

Yandong Jin1†, Baijie Wang1†, Mingchuan Bao1†, Yujie Li1, Shengwu Xiao1, Yuhua Wang1, Jun Zhang1, Liangzhen Zhao2, Hangxiao Zhang2, Yau-Heiu Hsu3, Mingjie Li4 and Lianfeng Gu2*   

  1. 1. College of Forestry, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
    2. Basic Forestry and Proteomics Research Center, School of Future Technology, College of Forestry, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
    3. Graduate Institute of Biotechnology, Chung Hsing University, Taichung 40227, China
    4. College of crop science, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondence: Lianfeng Gu (lfgu@fafu.edu.cn)
  • Received:2022-11-09 Accepted:2023-02-15 Online:2023-03-15

Abstract: Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants among monocotyledonous species and is grown extensively in subtropical regions. Although bamboo has high economic value and produces much biomass quickly, gene functional research is hindered by the low efficiency of genetic transformation in this species. We therefore explored the potential of a bamboo mosaic virus (BaMV)‐ mediated expression system to investigate genotype–phenotype associations. We determined that the sites between the triple gene block proteins (TGBps) and the coat protein (CP) of BaMV are the most efficient insertion sites for the expression of exogenous genes in both monopodial and sympodial bamboo species. Moreover, we validated this system by individually overexpressing the two endogenous genes ACE1 and DEC1, which resulted in the promotion and suppression of internode elongation, respectively. In particular, this system was able to drive the expression of three 2A‐linked betalain biosynthesis genes (more than 4 kb in length) to produce betalain, indicating that it has high cargo capacity and may provide the prerequisite basis for the development of a DNA‐free bamboo genome editing platform in the future. Since BaMV can infect multiple bamboo species, we anticipate that the system described in this study will greatly contribute to gene function research and further promote the molecular breeding of bamboo.

Key words: ACE1, bamboo, BaMV‐mediated overexpression, DEC1, expression, virus‐mediated genome editing

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