Cotton fiber is a specialized unicellular structure useful for the study of cellular differentiation and development. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) have been shown to be involved in various developmental processes. Microarray data analysis of five Gossypium hirsutum genotypes revealed high transcript levels of GhHSP90 and GhHSP70 genes at different stages of fiber development, indicating their importance in the process. Further, we identified 26 and 55 members of HSP90 and HSP70 gene families in G. hirsutum. The treatment of specific inhibitors novobiocin (Nov; HSP90) and pifithrin/2-phenylethynesulfonamide (Pif; HSP70) in in-vitro cultured ovules resulted in a fewer number of fiber initials and retardation in fiber elongation. The molecular chaperone assay using bacterially expressed recombinant GhHSP90-7 and GhHSP70-8 proteins further confirmed the specificity of inhibitors. HSP inhibition disturbs the H2O2 balance that leads to the generation of oxidative stress, which consequently results in autophagy in the epidermal layer of the cotton ovule. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of inhibitor-treated ovule also corroborates autophagosome formation along with disrupted mitochondrial cristae. The perturbations in transcript profile of HSP inhibited ovules show differential regulation of different stress and fiber development-related genes and pathways. Altogether, our results indicate that HSP90 and HSP70 families play a crucial role in cotton fiber differentiation and development by maintaining cellular homeostasis.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article