J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2019, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (5): 581-597.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12727

Special Issue: Rice Genomics and Agriculture

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Big Grain3, encoding a purine permease, regulates grain size via modulating cytokinin transport in rice

Yunhua Xiao1, Dapu Liu1, Guoxia Zhang1, Shaopei Gao1, Linchuan Liu1, Fan Xu1, Ronghui Che1, Yiqin Wang1, Hongning Tong2* and Chengcai Chu1*   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics and National Center for Plant Gene Research (Beijing), Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Institute of Crop Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China

    Email: Hongning Tong (tonghongning@caas.cn); Chengcai Chu (ccchu@genetics.ac.cn, Dr. Chu is fully responsible for the distribution of all materials associated this article)
  • Received:2018-09-05 Accepted:2018-09-21 Online:2018-09-29 Published:2019-05-01

Abstract: Grain size is an important agronomic trait affecting grain yield, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Here, we isolated a dominant mutant, big grain3 (bg3-D), which exhibits a remarkable increase of grain size caused by activation of the PURINE PERMEASE gene, OsPUP4. BG3/OsPUP4 is predominantly expressed in vascular tissues and is specifically suppressed by exogenous cytokinin application. Hormone profiling revealed that the distribution of different cytokinin forms, in roots and shoots of the bg3-D mutant, is altered. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis indicated that expression of rice cytokinin type-A RESPONSE REGULATOR (OsRR) genes is enhanced in the roots of the bg3-D mutant. These results suggest that OsPUP4 might contribute to the long-distance transport of cytokinin, by reinforcing cytokinin loading into vascular bundle cells. Furthermore, plants overexpressing OsPUP7, the closest homolog of OsPUP4, also exhibited a similar phenotype to the bg3-D mutant. Interestingly, subcellular localization demonstrated that OsPUP4 was localized on the plasma membrane, whereas OsPUP7 was localized to the endoplasmic reticulum. Based on these findings, we propose that OsPUP4 and OsPUP7 function in a linear pathway to direct cytokinin cell-to-cell transport, affecting both its long-distance movement and local allocation.

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