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Article|22 Dec 2022|OPEN
Engineered Cleistogamy in Camelina sativa for bioconfinement
Debao Huang1 , Liwei Gao1,2 , Jeremy McAdams1 , Fangzhou Zhao1,3 , Hongyan Lu1,4 , Yonghui Wu1 , Jeremy Martin5 and Sherif M. Sherif6,7 , Jayasankar Subramanian6 , Hui Duan7 , Wusheng Liu,1 ,
1Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA
2College of Life Sciences, Ganzhou Normal University, Ganzhou, Jiangxi 341000, China
3National Center for Soybean Improvement, State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210095, China
4College of Food Science and Engineering, Wuhan Polytechnic University, Wuhan, Hubei 430048, China
5Sandhills Research Station, North Carolina State University, Jackson Springs, NC 27281, USA
6Vineland Research Station, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Vinland Station, ON LOR 2E0, Canada
7Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech, Winchester, VA 22602, USA
8USDA-ARS, U.S. National Arboretum, Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC)-West, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhac280 (2023)
Views: 254

Received: 12 Sep 2022
Accepted: 07 Dec 2022
Published online: 22 Dec 2022


Camelina sativa is a self-pollinating and facultative outcrossing oilseed crop. Genetic engineering has been used to improve camelina yield potential for altered fatty acid composition, modified protein profiles, improved seed and oil yield, and enhanced drought resistance. The deployment of transgenic camelina in the field posits high risks related to the introgression of transgenes into non-transgenic camelina and wild relatives. Thus, effective bioconfinement strategies need to be developed to prevent pollen-mediated gene flow (PMGF) from transgenic camelina. In the present study, we overexpressed the cleistogamy (i.e. floral petal non-openness)-inducing PpJAZ1 gene from peach in transgenic camelina. Transgenic camelina overexpressing PpJAZ1 showed three levels of cleistogamy, affected pollen germination rates after anthesis but not during anthesis, and caused a minor silicle abortion only on the main branches. We also conducted field trials to examine the effects of the overexpressed PpJAZ1 on PMGF in the field, and found that the overexpressed PpJAZ1 dramatically inhibited PMGF from transgenic camelina to non-transgenic camelina under the field conditions. Thus, the engineered cleistogamy using the overexpressed PpJAZ1 is a highly effective bioconfinement strategy to limit PMGF from transgenic camelina, and could be used for bioconfinement in other dicot species.