J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2022, Vol. 64 ›› Issue (7): 1352-1363.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13275

• Cell and Developmental Biology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

bZIP71 delays flowering by suppressing Ehd1 expression in rice

Xiufeng Li1, Xiaojie Tian1, Mingliang He1,2, Xinxin Liu3,4, Zhiyong Li5, Jiaqi Tang1,2, Enyang Mei1,2, Min Xu1,2, Yingxiang Liu1,2, Zhenyu Wang1, Qingjie Guan3,4, Wei Meng3,4, Jun Fang1*, Jian Zhang5* and Qingyun Bu1,6*   

  1. 1 Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Key Laboratory of Soybean Molecular Design Breeding, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Harbin 150081, China
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3 College of Life Science, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
    4 Key Laboratory of Saline‐alkali Vegetation Ecology Restoration (Northeast Forestry University), Ministry of Education, Harbin 150040, China
    5 State Key Lab of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 311400, China
    6 The Innovative Academy of Seed Design, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

    *Correspondences: Qingyun Bu (buqingyun@iga.ac.cn, Dr. Bu is fully responsible for the distributions of all materials associated with this article); Jian Zhang (zhangjian@caas.cn); Jun Fang (fangjun@iga.ac.cn)
  • Received:2022-02-27 Accepted:2022-05-06 Online:2022-05-12 Published:2022-07-01


Flowering time is a fundamental factor determining the global distribution and final yield of rice (Oryza sativa). Although diverse flowering time genes have been reported in this crop, the transcriptional regulation of its key flowering genes are poorly understood. Here, we report that a basic leucine zipper transcription factor, bZIP71, functions as a flowering repressor. The overexpression of bZIP71 delays flowering, while the bzip71 mutant flowers early in both long-day and short-day conditions. A genetic analysis showed that the regulation of flowering by bZIP71 might be independent of Heading date 2 (Hd2), Hd4, and Hd5. Importantly, bZIP71 directly associates with the Early heading date 1 (Ehd1) promoter and represses its transcription, and genetically the function of bZIP71 is impaired in the ehd1 mutant. Moreover, bZIP71 interacts with major components of polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), SET domain group protein 711 (SDG711), and Fertilization independent endosperm 2 (FIE2), through which bZIP71 regulates the H3K27me3 level of Ehd1. Taken together, we present a transcriptional regulatory mechanism in which bZIP71 enhances the H3K27me3 level of Ehd1 and transcriptionally represses its expression, which not only offers a novel insight into a flowering pathway, but also provides a valuable putative target for the genetic engineering and breeding of elite rice cultivars.

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