Ligon lintless-2, a monogenic dominant cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) fiber mutation, causing extreme reduction in lint fiber length with no pleiotropic effects on vegetative growth, represents an excellent model system to study fiber elongation. A UDP-glycosyltransferase that was highly expressed in developing fibers of the mutant Ligon lintless-2 was isolated. The predicted amino acid sequence showed ~53% similarity with Arabidopsis UGT73C sub-family members and the UDP-glycosyltransferase was designated as UGT73C14. When expressed in Escherichia coli as a recombinant protein with a maltose binding protein tag, UGT73C14 displayed enzymatic activity toward ABA and utilized UDP-glucose and UDP-galactose as the sugar donors. The recombinant UGT73C14 converted natural occurring isoform (+)-cis, trans-ABA better than (+)-trans, trans-ABA and (-)-cis, trans-ABA. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants constitutively overexpressing UGT73C14 did not show phenotypic changes under standard growth conditions. However, the increased glycosylation of ABA resulted in phenotypic changes in post-germinative growth and seedling establishment, confirming in vivo activity of UGT73C14 for ABA. This suggests that the expression level of UGT73C14 is regulated by the observed elevated levels of ABA in developing fibers of the Li2 mutant line and may be involved in the regulation of ABA homeostasis.
Gilbert, M. K., Bland, J. M., Shockey, J. M., Cao, H., Hinchliffe, D. J., Fang, D. D., & Naoumkina, M. (2013). A Transcript Profiling Approach Reveals an Abscisic Acid-Specific Glycosyltransferase (UGT73C14) Induced in Developing Fiber of Ligon lintless-2 Mutant of Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.). PLoS ONE, 8(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0075268