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J Integr Plant Biol, 2016, 58 (7): 627-641, Research Article
Putative zeatin O-glucosyltransferase OscZOG1 regulates root and shoot development and formation of agronomic traits in rice
Xiao-Ling Shang, Rong-Rong Xie, Hua Tian, Qing-Long Wang and Fang-Qing Guo*
The National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics and National Center of Plant Gene Research (Shanghai), Institute of Plant Physiology & Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
*Correspondence: E-mail: fqguo@sibs.ac.cn
doi: 10.1111/jipb.12444
Abstract

As a ubiquitous reaction, glucosylation controls the bioactivity of cytokinins in plant growth and development. Here we show that genetic manipulation of zeatin-O-glucosylation regulates the formation of important agronomic traits in rice by manipulating the expression of OscZOG1 gene, encoding a putative zeatin O-glucosyltransferase. We found that OscZOG1 was preferentially expressed in shoot and root meristematic tissues and nascent organs. The growth of lateral roots was stimulated in the overexpression lines, but inhibited in RNA interference lines. In shoots, knockdown of OscZOG1 expression by RNA interference significantly improved tillering, panicle branching, grain number per panicle and seed size, which are important agronomic traits for grain yield. In contrast, constitutive expression of OscZOG1 leads to negative effects on the formation of the grain-yielding traits with a marked increase in the accumulation levels of cis-zeatin O-glucoside (cZOG) in the transgenic rice plants. In this study, our findings demonstrate the feasibility of improving the critical yield-determinant agronomic traits, including tiller number, panicle branches, total grain number per panicle and grain weight by downregulating the expression level of OscZOG1. Our results suggest that modulating the levels of cytokinin glucosylation can function as a fine-tuning switch in regulating the formation of agronomic traits in rice.

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Received: 20 August 2015      Accepted:    Online on:
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