He X-C, Qin Y-M, Xu Y, Hu C-Y, Zhu Y-X

J Exp Bot. 2008;59(10):2687–95

Microtubules are a major structural component of the cytoskeleton and participate in cell division, intracellular transport, and cell morphogenesis. In the present study, 795 cotton tubulin expressed sequence tags were analysed and 19 beta-tubulin genes (TUB) cloned from a cotton cDNA library. Among the group, 12 cotton TUBs (GhTUBs) are reported for the first time here. Transcription profiling revealed that nine GhTUBs were highly expressed in elongating fibre cells as compared with fuzzless-lintless mutant ovules. Treating cultured wild-type cotton ovules with exogenous phytohormones showed that individual genes can be induced by different agents. Gibberellin induced expression of GhTUB1 and GhTUB3, ethylene induced expression of GhTUB5, GhTUB9, and GhTUB12, brassinosteroids induced expression of GhTUB1, GhTUB3, GhTUB9, and GhTUB12, and lignoceric acid induced expression of GhTUB1, GhTUB3, and GhTUB12. When GhTUBs were transformed into the Saccharomyces cerevisiae inviable mutant, tub2, which is deficient in beta-tubulin, one ovule-specific and eight of nine fibre-preferential GhTUBs rescued this lethality. This study suggests that the proteins encoded by cotton GhTUBs are involved during cotton fibre development.