The cellulose synthase (CesA) gene family in four Gossypium species: phylogenetics, sequence variation and gene expression in relation to fiber quality in Upland cotton.

Research paper by Sujun S Zhang, Zhenxing Z Jiang, Jie J Chen, Zongfu Z Han, Jina J Chi, Xihua X Li, Jiwen J Yu, Chaozhu C Xing, Mingzhou M Song, Jianyong J Wu, Feng F Liu, Xiangyun X Zhang, Jinfa J Zhang, Jianhong J Zhang

Indexed on: 15 Jan '21Published on: 14 Jan '21Published in: Molecular Genetics and Genomics


Cellulose synthases (CesAs) are multi-subunit enzymes found on the plasma membrane of plant cells and play a pivotal role in cellulose production. The cotton fiber is mainly composed of cellulose, and the genetic relationships between CesA genes and cotton fiber yield and quality are not fully understood. Through a phylogenetic analysis, the CesA gene family in diploid Gossypium arboreum and Gossypium raimondii, as well as tetraploid Gossypium hirsutum ('TM-1') and Gossypium barbadense ('Hai-7124' and '3-79'), was divided into 6 groups and 15 sub-groups, with each group containing two to five homologous genes. Most CesA genes in the four species are highly collinear. Among the five cotton genomes, 440 and 1929 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CesA gene family were identified in exons and introns, respectively, including 174 SNPs resulting in amino acid changes. In total, 484 homeologous SNPs between the A and D genomes were identified in diploids, while 142 SNPs were detected between the two tetraploids, with 32 and 82 SNPs existing within G. hirsutum and G. barbadense, respectively. Additionally, 74 quantitative trait loci near 18 GhCesA genes were associated with fiber quality. One to four GhCesA genes were differentially expressed (DE) in ovules at 0 and 3 days post anthesis (DPA) between two backcross inbred lines having different fiber lengths, but no DE genes were identified between these lines in developing fibers at 10 DPA. Twenty-seven SNPs in above DE CesA genes were detected among seven cotton lines, including one SNP in Ghi_A08G03061 that was detected in four G. hirsutum genotypes. This study provides the first comprehensive characterization of the cotton CesA gene family, which may play important roles in determining cotton fiber quality.