Evidence of a novel silencing effect on transgenes in the Arabidopsis thaliana sperm cell

Yukinosuke Ohnishi, Tomokazu Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We encountered unexpected transgene silencing in Arabidopsis thaliana sperm cells; transgenes encoding proteins with no specific intracellular localization (cytoplasmic proteins) were silenced transcriptionally or posttranscriptionally. The mRNA of cytoplasmic protein transgenes tagged with a fluorescent protein gene was significantly reduced, resulting in undetectable fluorescent protein signals in the sperm cell. Silencing of the cytoplasmic protein transgenes in the sperm cell did not affect the expression of either its endogenous homologous genes or cotransformed transgenes encoding a protein with targeted intracellular localization. This transgene silencing in the sperm cell persisted in mutants of the major gene silencing machinery including DNA methylation. The incomprehensible, yet real, transgene silencing phenotypes occurring in the sperm cell could mislead the interpretation of experimental results in plant reproduction, and this Commentary calls attention to that risk and highlights details of this novel cytoplasmic protein transgene silencing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3926-3936
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Evidence of a novel silencing effect on transgenes in the Arabidopsis thaliana sperm cell'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this