The mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase 1 gene GhmMDH1 is involved in plant and root growth under phosphorus deficiency conditions in cotton

Wang, Z-An.; Li, Q.; Ge, X-Yang.; Yang, C-Lin.; Luo, X-Li.; Zhang, A-Hong.; Xiao, J-Li.; Tian, Y-Chuan.; Xia, G-Xian.; Chen, X-Ying.; Li, F-Guang.; Wu, J-He.

Scientific Reports 5: 10343


ISSN/ISBN: 2045-2322
PMID: 26179843
DOI: 10.1038/srep10343
Accession: 070745237

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Cotton, an important commercial crop, is cultivated for its natural fibers, and requires an adequate supply of soil nutrients, including phosphorus, for its growth. Soil phosporus exists primarily in insoluble forms. We isolated a mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase (MDH) gene, designated as GhmMDH1, from Gossypium hirsutum L. to assess its effect in enhancing P availability and absorption. An enzyme kinetic assay showed that the recombinant GhmMDH1 possesses the capacity to catalyze the interconversion of oxaloacetate and malate. The malate contents in the roots, leaves and root exudates was significantly higher in GhmMDH1-overexpressing plants and lower in knockdown plants compared with the wild-type control. Knockdown of GhmMDH1 gene resulted in increased respiration rate and reduced biomass whilst overexpression of GhmMDH1 gave rise to decreased respiration rate and higher biomass in the transgenic plants. When cultured in medium containing only insoluble phosphorus, Al-phosphorus, Fe-phosphorus, or Ca-phosphorus, GhmMDH1-overexpressing plants produced significantly longer roots and had a higher biomass and P content than WT plants, however, knockdown plants showed the opposite results for these traits. Collectively, our results show that GhmMDH1 is involved in plant and root growth under phosphorus deficiency conditions in cotton, owing to its functions in leaf respiration and P acquisition.