WUSCHEL-Related Homeobox Genes Cooperate with Cytokinin Signalling to Promote Bulbil Formation in Lilium lancifolium
The bulbil is an important vegetative reproductive organ in triploid Lilium lancifolium. Based on our previously obtained transcriptome data, we screened two WUSCHCEL-related homeobox (WOX) genes closely related to bulbil formation, LlWOX9 and LlWOX11. However, the biological functions and regulatory mechanisms of LlWOX9 and LlWOX11 are unclear. In this study, we cloned the full-length coding sequences of LlWOX9 and LlWOX11. Transgenic Arabidopsis showed increased branch numbers, and the overexpression of LlWOX9 and LlWOX11 in stem segments promoted bulbil formation, while the silencing of LlWOX9 and LlWOX11 inhibited bulbil formation, indicating that LlWOX9 and LlWOX11 are positive regulators of bulbil formation. Cytokinins acting through type-B response regulators (type-B RRs) could bind to the promoters of LlWOX9 and LlWOX11 and promote their transcription. LlWOX11 could enhance cytokinin pathway signalling by inhibiting the transcription of type-A LlRR9. Our study enriches the understanding of the regulation of plant development by the WOX gene family and lays a foundation for further research on the molecular mechanism of bulbil formation in lily.
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