Rice Genomics and Agriculture
Updated in October 2019
Abiotic stress is the main factor negatively affecting crop growth and productivity worldwide. The advances in physiology, genetics, and molecular biology have greatly improved our understanding of plant responses to stresses. Rice plants are sensitive to various abiotic stresses. In this short review, we present recent progresses in adaptation of rice to salinity, water deficit and submergence. Many studies show that salt tolerance is tightly associated with the ability to maintain ion homeostasis under salinity. Na+ transporter SKC1 unloads Na+ from xylem, plasma membrane Na+/H+ antiporter SOS1 excludes sodium out of cytosol and tonoplast Na+/H+ antiporter NHX1 sequesters Na+ into the vacuole. Silicon deposition in exodermis and endodermis of rice root reduces sodium transport through the apoplastic pathway. A number of transcription factors regulate stress-inducible gene expression that leads to initiating stress responses and establishing plant stress tolerance. Overexpression of some transcription factors, including DREB/CBF and NAC, enhances salt, drought, and cold tolerance in rice. A variant of one of ERF family genes, Sub1A-1, confers immersion tolerance to lowland rice. These findings and their exploitation will hold promise for engineering breeding to protect crop plants from certain abiotic stresses.
WRKY genes encode transcription factors that are involved in the regulation of various biological processes. These zinc-finger proteins, especially those members mediating stress responses, are uniquely expanded in plants. To facilitate the study of the evolutionary history and functions of this supergene family, we performed an exhaustive search for WRKY genes using HMMER and a Hidden Markov Model that was specifically trained for rice. This work resulted in a comprehensive list of WRKY gene models in Oryza sativa L. ssp. indica and L. ssp. japonica. Mapping of these genes to individual chromosomes facilitated elimination of the redundant, leading to the identification of 98 WRKY genes in japonica and 102 in indica rice. These genes were further categorized according to the number and structure of their zinc-finger domains. Based on a phylogenetic tree of the conserved WRKY domains and the graphic display of WRKY loci on corresponding indica and japonica chromosomes, we identified possible WRKY gene duplications within, and losses between the two closely related rice subspecies. Also reviewed are the roles of WRKY genes in disease resistance and responses to salicylic acid and jasmonic acid, seed development and germination mediated by gibberellins, other developmental processes including senescence, and responses to abiotic stresses and abscisic acid in rice and other plants. The signaling pathways mediating WRKY gene expression are also discussed.
Rice diseases caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses are one of the major constraints for sustainable rice (Oryza sativa L.) production worldwide. The use of resistant cultivars is considered the most economical and effective method to control rice diseases. In the last decade, a dozen resistance genes against the fungal pathogen Magnaporthe grisea and the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae have been cloned. Approximately half of them encode nuclear binding site (NBS) and leucine rich repeat (LRR)-containing proteins, the most common type of cloned plant resistance genes. Interestingly, four of them encode novel proteins which have not been identified in other plant species, suggesting that unique mechanisms might be involved in rice defense responses. This review summarizes the recent advances in cloning and characterization of disease resistance genes in rice and presents future perspectives for in-depth molecular analysis of the function and evolution of rice resistance genes and their interaction with avirulence genes in pathogens.Author for correspondence. Tel: +1 614 292 9280; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The hybrid rice (Oryza sativa L.) breeding that was initiated in China in the 1970s led to a great improvement in rice productivity. In general, it increases the grain yield by over 20% to the inbred rice varieties, and now hybrid rice has been widely introduced into Africa, Southern Asia and America. These hybrid varieties are generated through either three-line hybrid and two-line hybrid systems; the former is derived from cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) and the latter derived from genic male sterility (GMS). There are three major types of CMS (HL, BT and WA) and two types of GMS (photoperiod-sensitive (PGMS) and temperature-sensitive (TGMS)). The BT- and HL-type CMS genes are characterized as orf79 and orfH79, which are chimeric toxic genes derived from mitochondrial rearrangement. Rf3 for CMS-WA is located on chromosome 1, while Rf1, Rf4, Rf5 and Rf6 correspond to CMS-BT, CMS-WA and CMS-HL, located on chromosome 10. The Rf1 gene for BT-CMS has been cloned recently, and encodes a mitochondria-targeted PPR protein. PGMS is thought to be controlled by two recessive loci on chromosomes 7 and 12, whereas nine recessive alleles have been identified for TGMS and mapped on different chromosomes. Attention is still urgently needed to resolve the molecular complexity of male sterility to assist rice breeding.
The present study was conducted to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for leaf size traits in IR64 introgression lines (INLs). For this purpose, selected F2 populations derived from crosses between recurrent parent IR64 and its derived INLs, unique for leaf length and leaf width, were used to confirm QTLs. A total of eight QTLs, mapped on three chromosomes, were identified for the four leaf size traits in six F2 populations. A QTL for leaf length, qLLnpt-1, in HKL69 was identified around simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker RM3709 on chromosome 1. Two QTLs for flag leaf length, qFLLnpt-2 and qFLLnpt-4, in HFG39 were indentified on chromosomes 2 and 4, respectively. For flag leaf width, a QTL, qFLWnpt-4, in HFG39 was identified around RM17483 on chromosome 4. While another QTL for flag leaf width, qFLWnpt-1, in HFG27 was identified around RM3252 on chromosome 1. A QTL for leaf width, qLWnpt-2, in HKL75 was identified around RM7451 on chromosome 2. For leaf width, two QTLs, qLWnpt-4a, qLWnpt-4b, in HKL48 and HKL99 were identified around RM7208 and RM6909, respectively on chromosome 4. Results from this study suggest the possibilities to use marker-assisted selection and pyramiding these QTLs to improve rice water productivity.
Farooq M, Tagle AG, Santos RE, Ebron LA, Fujita D, Kobayashi N (2010) Quantitative Trait Loci mapping for leaf length and leaf width in rice cv. IR64 derived lines. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 52(6), 578–584.
Several TCP genes have been reported to play important roles in plant development; the TCP homologs encode a plant-specific family of putative transcription factors. To understand the evolutionary relationship of TCP genes of Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa L. (hereafter called rice), we have identified 23 and 22 TCP genes in the Arabidopsis and rice genomes, respectively. Using phylogenetic analysis, we grouped these TCP genes into three classes. In addition, the motifs outside the TCP domain further support the evolutionary relationships among these genes. The genome distribution of the TCP genes strongly supports the hypothesis that genome-wide and tandem duplication contributed to the expansion of the TCP gene family. The expression pattern of the TCP genes was analyzed further, providing useful clues about the function of these genes.
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade is an important signaling module that transduces extracellular stimuli into intracellular responses in eukaryotic organisms. An increasing body of evidence has shown that the MAPK-mediated cellular signaling is crucial to plant growth and development, as well as biotic and abiotic stress responses. To date, a total of 17 MAPK genes have been identified from the rice genome. Expression profiling, biochemical characterization and/or functional analysis were carried out with many members of the rice MAPK gene family, especially those associated with biotic and abiotic stress responses. In this review, the phylogenetic relationship and classification of rice MAPK genes are discussed to facilitate a simple nomenclature and standard annotation of the rice MAPK gene family. Functional data relating to biotic and abiotic stress responses are reviewed for each MAPK group and show that despite overlapping in functionality, there is a certain level of functional specificity among different rice MAP kinases. The future challenges are to functionally characterize each MAPK, to identify their downstream substrates and upstream kinases, and to genetically manipulate the MAPK signaling pathway in rice crops for the improvement of agronomically important traits.
Bamboo occupies an important phylogenetic node in the grass family and plays a significant role in the forest industry. We produced 1.2 Mb of tetraploid moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens E. Mazel ex H. de Leh.) sequences from 13 bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones, and these are the largest genomic sequences available so far from the subfamily Bambusoideae. The content of repetitive elements (36.2%) in bamboo is similar to that in rice. Both rice and sorghum exhibit high genomic synteny with bamboo, which suggests that rice and sorghum may be useful as models for decoding Bambusoideae genomes.
Gui YJ, Zhou Y, Wang Y, Wang S, Wang SY, Hu Y, Bo SP, Chen H, Zhou CP, Ma NX, Zhang TZ, Fan LJ (2010) Insights into the bamboo genome: syntenic relationships to rice and sorghum. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 52(11), 1008–1015.
The origin of cultivated rice has puzzled plant biologists for decades. This is due, at least in part, to the complex evolutionary dynamics in rice cultivars and wild progenitors, particularly rapid adaptive differentiation and continuous gene flow within and between cultivated and wild rice. The long-standing controversy over single versus multiple and annual versus perennial origins of cultivated rice has been brought into shaper focus with the rapid accumulation of genetic and phylogenetic data. Molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed ancient genomic differentiation between rice cultivars, suggesting that they were domesticated from divergent wild populations. However, the recently cloned domestication gene sh4, responsible for the reduction of grain shattering from wild to cultivated rice, seems to have originated only once. Herein, we propose two models to reconcile apparently conflicting evidence regarding rice domestication. The snow-balling model considers a single origin of cultivated rice. In this model, a core of critical domestication alleles was fixed in the founding cultivar and then acted to increase the genetic diversity of cultivars through hybridization with wild populations. The combination model considers multiple origins of cultivated rice. In this model, initial cultivars were domesticated from divergent wild populations and fixed different sets of domestication alleles. Subsequent crosses among these semi-domesticated cultivars resulted in the fixation of a similar set of critical domestication alleles in the contemporary cultivars. In both models, introgression has played an important role in rice domestication. Recent and future introgression of beneficial genes from the wild gene pool through conventional and molecular breeding programs can be viewed as the continuation of domestication.
Hybrid rice has contributed greatly to the self-sufficiency of food supply in China. To meet the future demand for rice production, a national program on super rice breeding was established in China in 1996. The corresponding targets, breeding strategies and most significant advances are reviewed in this paper. New plant type models have been modified to adjust to various rice growing regions. In recognition of the importance of applying parents with intermediate subspecies differentiation in increasing F1 yield, medium type parental lines were selected from populations derived from inter-subspecies crosses with the assistance of DNA markers for subspecies differentiation. Results also indicate that a substantial increase of biomass is the basis for further enhancement of the grain yield potential, and amelioration of leaf characteristics is helpful in increasing the photosynthetic rate. Thirty-four super hybrid rice varieties have been released commercially, growing in a total area of 13.5 million hm2 and producing 6.7 thousand million kg more rice in 1998?005. Although remarkable progress has been made in super hybrid rice breeding in China, selections on the root system and integration of more biotechnological tools remain a great challenge.
The so‐called “wild abortive” (WA) type of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) derived from a wild rice species Oryza rufipogon has been extensively used for hybrid rice breeding. However, extensive analysis of the structure of the related mitochondrial genome has not been reported, and the CMS‐associated gene(s) remain unknown. In this study, we exploited a mitochondrial genome‐wide strategy to examine the structural and expressional variations in the mitochondrial genome conferring the CMS. The entire mitochondrial genomes of a CMS‐WA line and two normal fertile rice lines were amplified by Long‐polymerase chain reaction into tilling fragments of up to 15.2 kb. Restriction and DNA blotting analyses of these fragments revealed that structural variations occurred in several regions in the WA mitochondrial genome, as compared to those of the fertile lines. All of the amplified fragments covering the entire mitochondrial genome were used as RNA blot probes to examine the mitochondrial expression profile among the CMS‐WA and fertile lines. As a result, only two mRNAs were found to be differentially expressed between the CMS‐WA and the fertile lines, which were detected by a probe containing the nad5 and orf153 genes and the other having the ribosomal protein gene rpl5, respectively. These mRNAs are proposed to be the candidates for further identification and functional studies of the CMS gene.
Brassinosteroids (BRs) are essential hormones for growth and development of plant. In rice, BRs regulate multiple developmental processes and affect many important traits such as height, leaf angle, fertility and seed filling. We identified brassinosteroid-regulated proteins in rice using proteomic approaches and performed functional analysis of some BR-regulated proteins by overexpression experiments. Using two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) followed by protein identification by mass spectrometry, we compared proteomic differences in the shoots and roots of the BR-insensitive mutant d61-4 and BR-deficient mutant brd1-3. We identified a large number of proteins differentially expressed in the mutants compared with wild type control. These include a glycine-rich RNA-binding protein (OsGRP1) and a DREPP2 protein, which showed reduced levels in the BR mutants. Overexpression of these two proteins partially suppressed the dwarf phenotype of the Arabidopsis BR-insensitive mutant bri1-5. In contrast to the reduced protein level, the RNA level of OsGRP1 was not significantly affected in the BR mutants or by BR treatment, suggesting BR regulation of OsGRP1 at the posttranslational level. This study identifies many BR-regulated proteins and demonstrates that OsGRP1 functions downstream in the BR signal transduction pathway to promote cell expansion.
Wang F, Bai MY, Deng Z, Oses-Prieto JA, Burlingame AL, Lu T, Chong K, Wang ZY (2010) Proteomic study identifies proteins involved in brassinosteroid regulation of rice growth. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 52(12), 1075–1085.
Introgression lines population was effectively used in mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs), identifying favorable genes, discovering hidden genetic variation, evaluating the action or interaction of QTLs in multiple conditions and providing the favorable experimental materials for plant breeding and genetic research. In this study, an advanced backcross and consecutive selfing strategy was used to develop introgression lines (ILs), which derived from an accession of Oryza rufipogon Griff. collected from Yuanjiang County, Yunnan Province of China, as the donor, and an elite indica cultivar Teqing (O. sativa L.), as the recipient. Introgression segments from O. rufipogon were screened using 179 polymorphic simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers in the genome of each IL. Introgressed segments carried by the introgression lines population contained 120 ILs covering the whole O. rufipogon genome. The mean number of homozygous O. rufipogon segments per introgression line was about 3.88. The average length of introgressed segments was approximate 25.5 cM, and about 20.8% of these segments had sizes less than 10 cM. The genome of each IL harbored the chromosomal fragments of O. rufipogon ranging from 0.54% to 23.7%, with an overall average of 5.79%. At each locus, the ratio of substitution of O. rufipogon alleles had a range of 1.67‐9.33, with an average of 5.50. A wide range of alterations in morphological and yield‐related traits were also found in the introgression lines population. Using single‐point analysis, a total of 37 putative QTLs for yield and yield components were detected at two sites with 7%‐20% explaining the phenotypic variance. Nineteen QTLs (51.4%) were detected at both sites, and the alleles from O. rufipogon at fifteen loci (40.5%) improved the yield and yield components in the Teging background. These O. rufipogon ‐O. sativa introgression lines will serve as genetic materials for identifying and using favorable genes from common wild rice.
High chalkiness is a major problem in many rice-producing areas of the world, especially in hybrid rice (Oryza sativa L.) in China. We previously showed a major quantitative trait locus for the percentage of grains with white chalkiness (QTLqPGWC-8) in the interval G1149-R727 on chromosome 8 using a chromosome segment substitution line (CSSL). Here, we selected the line-CSSL50 harboring the QTLqPGWC-8 allele from the CSSLs derived from a cross between Asominori (as a recurrent parent) and IR24 (as a donor parent), which had higher percentage chalkiness, markedly different from that of Asominori. There were also significant differences in starch granules, appearance of amylose content (AAC) and milling qualities between Asominori and CSSL50, but not in grain size or thousand grain weight (TGW). The BC4F2 and BC4F3 populations from a cross between CSSL50 and Asominori were used for fine mapping of qPGWC-8. We narrowed down the location of this QTL to a 142 kb region between Indel markers 8G-7 and 8G-9. QTLqPGWC-8 accounted for 50.9% of the difference in PGWC between the parents. The markers tightly linked to qPGWC-8 should facilitate cloning of the gene underlying this QTL and will be of value for marker-assisted selection in breeding rice varieties with better grain quality.
Guo T, Liu X, Wan X, Weng J, Liu S, Liu X, Chen M, Li J, Su N, Wu F, Cheng Z, Guo X, Lei C, Wang J, Jiang L, Wan J (2011) Identification of a stable quantitative trait locus for percentage grains with white chalkiness in rice (Oryza sativa) J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(8), 598–607.
Two weak dormancy mutants, designated Q4359 and Q4646, were obtained from the rice cultivar N22 after treatment with 400 Gy 60Co gamma-radiation. Compared to the N22 cultivar, the dormancy of the mutant seeds was more readily broken when exposed to a period of room temperature storage. The mutants also showed a reduced level of sensitivity to abscisic acid compared to the N22 cultivar, although Q4359 was more insensitive than Q4646. A genetic analysis indicated that in both mutants, the reduced dormancy trait was caused by a single recessive allele of a nuclear gene, but that the mutated locus was different in each case. The results of quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, based on the F2 population from Q4359 x Nanjing35, suggested that Q4359 lacks the QTL qSdn-1 and carries a novel allele at QTL qSdn-9, while a similar analysis of the Q4646 x Nanjing35 F2 population suggested that Q4646 lacks QTL qSdn-5, both qSdn-1 and qSdn-5 are major effect seed dormancy QTL in N22. Therefore, these two mutants were helpful to understand the mechanism of seed dormancy in N22.
Lu B, Xie K, Yang C, Zhang L, Wu T, Liu X, Jiang L, Wan J (2011) Genetic analysis of two weak dormancy mutants derived from strong seed dormancy wild type rice N22 (Oryza sativa). J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(5), 338–346.
To systematically estimate the gene duplication events in closely related species, we have to use comparative genomic approaches, either through genomic sequence comparison or comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). Given the scarcity of complete genomic sequences of plant species, in the present study we adopted an array based CGH to investigate gene duplications in the genus Arabidopsis. Fragment genomic DNA from four species, namely Arabidopsis thaliana, A. lyrata subsp. lyrata, A. lyrata subsp. petraea, and A. halleri, was hybridized to Affymetrix (Santa Clara, CA, USA) tiling arrays that are designed from the genomic sequences of A. thaliana. Pairwise comparisons of signal intensity were made to infer the potential duplicated candidates along each phylogenetic branch. Ninety-four potential candidates of gene duplication along the genus were identified. Among them, the majority (69 of 94) were A. thaliana lineage specific. This result indicates that the array based CGH approach may be used to identify candidates of duplication in other plant genera containing closely related species, such as Oryza, particularly for the AA genome species. We compared the degree of gene duplication through retrotransposon between O. sativa and A. thaliana and found a strikingly higher number of chimera retroposed genes in rice. The higher rate of gene duplication through retroposition and other mechanisms may indicate that the grass species is able to adapt to more diverse environments.
Gelatinization temperature (GT) is an important parameter in evaluating the cooking and eating quality of rice. Indeed, the phenotype, biochemistry and inheritance of GT have been widely studied in recent times. Previous map-based cloning revealed that GT was controlled by ALK gene, which encodes a putative soluble starch synthase II-3. Complementation vector and RNAi vector were constructed and transformed into Nipponbare mediated by Agrobacterium. Phenotypic and molecular analyses of transgenic lines provided direct evidence for ALK as a key gene for GT. Meanwhile, amylose content, gel consistency and pasting properties were also affected in transgenic lines. Two of four nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms in coding sequence of ALK were identified as essential for GT. Based on the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), two new sets of SNP markers combined with one cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence marker were developed for application in rice quality breeding.
Gao Z, Zeng D, Cheng F, Tian Z, Guo L, Su Y, Yan M, Jiang H, Dong G, Huang Y, Han B, Li J, Qian Q (2011) ALK, the key gene for gelatinization temperature, is a modifier gene for gel consistency in rice. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(9), 756–765.
Heterosis, or hybrid vigor, is the phenomenon whereby progeny of two inbred lines exhibit superior agronomic performance compared with either parent. We analyzed the expression of miRNAs and highly expressed small RNAs (defined according to Solexa sequencing results) in two rice (Oryza sativa) subspecies (japonica cv. Nipponbare and indica cv. 93-11) and their reciprocal hybrids using microarrays. We found that of all the 1141 small RNAs tested, 140 (12%, 140 of 1141) and 157 (13%, 157 of 1141) were identified being significantly differentially expressed in two reciprocal hybrids, respectively. All possible modes of action, including additive, high- and low- parent, above high- and below low-parent modes were exhibited. Both F1 hybrids showed non-additive expression patterns, with downregulation predominating. Interestingly, 15 miRNAs displayed stark opposite expression trends relative to mid-parent in reciprocal hybrids. Computational prediction of targets of differentially expressed miRNAs showed that they participated in multifaceted developmental pathways, and were not distinguishable from the targets of non-differentially expressed miRNAs. Together, our findings reveal that small RNAs play roles in heterosis and add a new layer in the understanding and exploitation of molecular mechanisms of heterosis.
Chen F, He G, He H, Chen W, Zhu X, Liang M, Chen L, Deng XW (2010) Expression analysis of miRNAs and highly-expressed small RNAs in two rice subspecies and their reciprocal hybrids. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 52(11), 971–980.
Red rice is an interfertile, weedy form of cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) that competes aggressively with the crop in the southern US, reducing yields and contaminating harvests. No wild Oryza species occur in North America and the weed has been proposed to have evolved through multiple mechanisms, including 揹e-domestication?of US crop cultivars, accidental introduction of Asian weeds, and hybridization between US crops and Asian wild/weedy Oryza strains. The phenotype of US red rice ranges from 揷rop mimics? which share some domestication traits with the crop, to strains closely resembling Asian wild Oryza species. Assessments of genetic diversity have indicated that many weed strains are closely related to Asian taxa (including indica and aus rice varieties, which have never been cultivated in the US, and the Asian crop progenitor O. rufipogon), whereas others show genetic similarity to the tropical japonica varieties cultivated in the southern US. Herein, we review what is known about the evolutionary origins and genetic diversity of US red rice and describe an ongoing research project to further characterize the evolutionary genomics of this aggressive weed.
Pib is a well-characterized rice blast-resistance gene belonging to the nucleotide binding site (NBS) and leucine-rich repeat (LRR) superfamily. Expression of Pib was low under non-challenged conditions, but strongly induced by the blast-causing fungal pathogen Magnaporthe grisea, thereby conferring resistance to the pathogen. It is generally established that cytosine methylation of the promoter-region often plays a repressive role in modulating expression of the gene in question. We report here that two critical regions of the Pib promoter were heavily CG cytosine-methylated in both cultivars studied. Surprisingly, induced expression of Pib by M. grisea infection did not entail its promoter demethylation, and partial demethylation by 5-azacytidine-treatment actually reduced Pib expression relative to wild-type plants. Accordingly, the blast disease-resistance was compromised in the 5′-azaC-treated plants relative to wild-type. In contrast, the disease susceptibility was not affected by the 5′-azaC treatment in another two rice cultivars that did not contain the Pib gene, ruling out effects of other R genes and non-specific genotoxic effects by the drug-treatment as a cause for the compromised Pib-conditioned blast-resistance. Taken together, our results suggest that promoter DNA methylation plays a novel enhancing role in conditioning high-level of induced expression of the Pib gene in times of M. grisea infection, and its conferred resistance to the pathogen.
Keywords: DNA methylation; Magnaporthe grisea; blast-resistance; induced Pib expression.
Li Y, Xia Q, Kou H, Wang D, Lin X, Wu Y, Xu C, Xing S and Liu B (2011) Induced Pib expression and resistance to Magnaporthe grisea are compromised by cytosine demethylation at critical promoter regions in rice. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(10), 814-823.
Pollination involves a series of complex cellular interactions and signal transduction events. Numerous reports have suggested a central role for protein kinases in pollen germination and pollen tube growth and a large number of receptor-like kinases have been detected exclusively in pollen in higher plants. However, few are well characterized, especially for the receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases. Here we report a receptor-like kinase gene, OsRLCK1, which belongs to the receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase VIII subfamily. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis and whole mount RNA in situ hybridization showed that OsRLCK1 is a pollen-specific gene and expressed only in the mature pollen. When expressed in the onion epidermal cells, the OsRLCK1-GFP fusion protein was diffused throughout the cell, indicating its cytoplasmic and nuclear localization. The Maltose Binding Protein-OsRLCK1 recombinant protein was found to be capable of autophosphorylation on threonine residue, showing that it encodes a functional kinase. These results suggest that OsRLCK1 is likely to play a role in a signaling pathway associated with pollen performance during pollination in rice.
In the present paper, we identified and cloned OsDHODH1 encoding a putative cytosolic dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) in rice. Expression analysis indicated that OsDHODH1 is upregulated by salt, drought and exogenous abscisic acid (ABA), but not by cold. By prokaryotic expression, we determined the enzymatic activity of OsDHODH1 and found that overproduction of OsDHODH1 significantly improved the tolerance of Escherichia coli cells to salt and osmotic stresses. Overexpression of the OsDHODH1 gene in rice increased the DHODH activity and enhanced plant tolerance to salt and drought stresses as compared with wild type and OsDHODH1-antisense transgenic plants. Our findings reveal, for the first time, that cytosolic dihydroorotate dehydrogenase is involved in plant stress response and that OsDHODH1 could be used in engineering crop plants with enhanced tolerance to salt and drought.
Liu WY, Wang MM, Huang J, Tang HJ, Lan HX, Zhang HS (2009). The OsDHODH1 gene is involved in salt and drought tolerance in rice. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(9), 825–833.
Rice endosperm plays a very important role in seedling germination and determines the qualities of rice grain. Although studies on specific gene categories in endosperm have been carried out, global view of gene expression at a transcription level in rice endosperm is still limited. To gain a better understanding of the global and tissue-specific gene expression profiles in rice endosperm, a cDNA library from rice endosperm of immature seeds was sequenced. A cDNA array was constructed based on the tentative unique transcripts derived from expression sequence tag (EST) assembling results and then hybridized with cDNAs from five different tissues or organs including endosperm, embryo, leaf, stem and root of rice. Significant redundancy was found for genes encoding prolamin, glutelin, allergen, and starch synthesis proteins, accounting for ∼34% of the total ESTs obtained. The cDNA array revealed 87 significantly expressed genes in endosperm compared with the other four organs or tissues. These genes included 13 prolamin family proteins, 17 glutelin family proteins, 12 binding proteins, nine catalytic proteins and four ribosomal proteins, indicating a complicated biological processing in rice endosperm. In addition, Northern verification of 1,4-alpha-glucan branching enzyme detected two isoforms in rice endosperm, the larger one of which only existed in endosperm.
Transposons are effective mutagens alternative to T-DNA for the generation of insertional mutants in many plant species including those whose transformation is inefficient. The current strategies of transposon tagging are usually slow and labor-intensive and yield low frequency of tagged lines. We have constructed a series of transposon tagging vectors based on three approaches: (i) AcTPase controlled by glucocorticoid binding domain/VP16 acidic activation domain/Gal4 DNA-binding domain (GVG) chemical-inducible expression system; (ii) deletion of AcTPase via Cre-lox site-specific recombination that was initially triggered by Ds excision; and (iii) suppression of early transposition rice callus through a dual-functional hygromycin resistance gene in a novel Ds element (HPT-Ds). We tested these vectors in transgenic rice and characterized the transposition events. Our results showed that these vectors are useful resources for functional genomics of rice and other crop plants. The vectors are freely available for the community.
Qu S, Jeon JS, Ouwerkerk PBF, Bellizzi M, Leach J, Ronald P, Wang GL (2009). Construction and application of efficient Ac-Ds transposon tagging vectors in rice. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 51(11), 982–992.
Rice is a model organism for studying the mechanism of cell wall biosynthesis and remolding in Gramineae. Mechanical strength is an important agronomy trait of rice (Oryza sativa L.) plants that affects crop lodging and grain yield. As a prominent physical property of cell walls, mechanical strength reflects upon the structure of different wall polymers and how they interact. Studies on the mechanisms that regulate the mechanical strength therefore consequently results in uncovering the genes functioning in cell wall biosynthesis and remodeling. Our group focuses on the study of isolation of brittle culm (bc) mutants and characterization of their corresponding genes. To date, several bc mutants have been reported. The identified genes have covered several pathways of cell wall biosynthesis, revealing many secrets of monocot cell wall biosynthesis. Here, we review the progress achieved in this research field and also highlight the perspectives in expectancy. All of those lend new insights into mechanisms of cell wall formation and are helpful for harnessing the waste rice straws for biofuel production.
Zhang B, Zhou Y (2011) Rice brittleness mutants: a way to open the ‘black box’ of monocot cell wall biosynthesis. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(2),136–142.
A dwarf mutant, designated LB4D, was obtained among the progeny of backcrosses to a wild rice introgression line. Genetic analysis of LB4D indicated that the dwarf phenotype was controlled by a single semidominant dwarfing gene, which was named LB4D. The mutants were categorized as dn-type dwarf mutants according to the pattern of internode reduction. In addition, gibberellin (GA) response tests showed that LB4D plants were neither deficient nor insensitive to GA. This study found that tiller formation by LB4D plants was decreased by 40% compared with the wild type, in contrast to other dominant dwarf mutants that have been identified, indicating that a different dwarfing mechanism might be involved in the LB4D dominant mutant. The reduction of plant height in F1 plants ranged from 27.9% to 38.1% in different genetic backgrounds, showing that LB4D exerted a stronger dominant dwarfing effect. Using large F2 and F3 populations derived from a cross between heterozygous LB4D and the japonica cultivar Nipponbare, the LB4D gene was localized to a 46 kb region between the markers Indel 4 and Indel G on the short arm of chromosome 11, and four predicted genes were identified as candidates in the target region.
Liang F, Xin X, Hu Z, Xu J,Wei G, Qian X, Yang J, He H, Luo X (2011) Genetic analysis and fine mapping of a novel semidominant dwarfing gene LB4D in rice. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(4), 312–323.
Rad21 and its meiotic counterpart Rec8, the key components of the cohesin complex, are essential for sister chromatid cohesion and chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis, respectively. In contrast to yeast and vertebrates, which have only two RAD21/REC8 genes, the rice genome encodes four Rad21/Rec8 proteins. Here, we report on the cloning and characterization of OsRAD21-2 from rice (Oryza sativa L.). Phylogenetic analysis of the full-length amino acids showed that OsRad21-2 was grouped into the plant-specific Rad21 subfamily. Semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction revealed OsRAD21-2 preferentially expressed in premeiotic flowers. Further RNA in situ hybridization analysis and promoter::β-glucuronidase staining indicated that OsRAD21-2 was mainly expressed in actively dividing tissues including premeiotic stamen, stem intercalary meristem, leaf meristem, and root pericycle. Ectopic expression of OsRAD21-2 in fission yeast resulted in cell growth delay and morphological abnormality. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that the OsRAD21-2-expressed cells were arrested in G2 phase. Our results suggest that OsRad21-2 functions in regulation of cell division and growth.
Gong C, Li T, Li Q, Yan L, Wang T (2011) Rice OsRAD21-2 is expressed in actively dividing tissues and its ectopic expression in yeast results in aberrant cell division and growth. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(1), 14–24.
In rice, one detrimental factor influencing single panicle yield is the frequent occurrence of panicle apical abortion (PAA) under unfavorable climatic conditions. Until now, no detailed genetic information has been available to avoid PAA in rice breeding. Here, we show that the occurrence of PAA is associated with the accumulation of excess hydrogen peroxide. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) mapping for PAA in an F2 population derived from the cross of L-05261 (PAA line) × IRAT129 (non-PAA variety) identified seven QTLs over a logarithm of the odd (LOD) threshold of 2.5, explaining approximately 50.1% of phenotypic variance for PAA in total. Five of the QTLs with an increased effect from L-05261, were designated as qPAA3-1, qPAA3-2, qPAA4, qPAA5 and qPAA8, and accounted for 6.8%, 5.9%, 4.2%, 13.0% and 12.2% of phenotypic variance, respectively. We found that the PAA in the early heading plants was mainly controlled by qPAA8. Subsequently, using the sub-populations specific for qPAA8 based on marker-assisted selection, we further narrowed qPAA8 to a 37.6-kb interval delimited by markers RM22475 and 8-In112. These results are beneficial for PAA gene clone.
Cheng ZJ, Mao BG, Gao SW, Zhang L, Wang JL, Lei CL, Zhang X, Wu FQ, Guo XP, Wan J (2011) Fine mapping of qPAA8, a gene controlling panicle apical development in rice. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(9), 710–718.
Anther development and male fertility are essential biological processes for flowering plants and are important for crop seed production. Genetic manipulation of male fertility/sterility is critical for crop hybrid breeding. Rice (Oryza sativa L.) male sterility phenotypes, including genic male sterility, hybrid male sterility, and cytoplasmic male sterility, are generally caused by mutations of fertility-related genes, by incompatible interactions between divergent allelic or non-allelic genes, or by genetic incompatibilities between cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes. Here, we review the recent advances in the molecular basis of anther development and male fertility-sterility conversion in specific genetic backgrounds, and the interactions with certain environmental factors. The highlighted findings in this review have significant implications in both basic studies and rice genetic improvement.
Guo JX, Liu YG (2012) Molecular control of male reproductive development and pollen fertility in rice. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 54(12), 967–978.
In many plants, sucrose transporters are essential for both sucrose exports from sources and imports into sinks, indicating a function in assimilate partitioning. To investigate whether sucrose transporters can improve the yield of starch plant, potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. Désirée) were transformed with cDNAs of the rice sucrose transporter genes OsSUT5Z and OsSUT2M under the control of a tuber-specific, class-I patatin promoter. Compared to the controls, the average fructose content of OsSUT5Z transgenic tubers significantly increased. However, the content of the sugars and starch in the OsSUT2M transgenic potato tubers showed no obvious difference. Correspondingly, the average tuber yield, average number of tubers per plant and average weight of single tuber showed no significant difference in OsSUT2M transgenic tubers with controls. In the OsSUT5Z transgenic lines, the average tuber yield per plant was 1.9-fold higher than the controls, and the average number of tubers per plant increased by more than 10 tubers on average, whereas the average weight of a single tuber did not increase significantly. These results suggested that the average number of tubers per plant showed more contribution than the average weight of a single tuber to the tuber yield per plant.
Sun A, Dai Y, Zhang X, Li C, Meng K, Xu H, Wei X, Xiao G, Ouwerkerk PBF, Wang M, Zhu Z (2011) A transgenic study on affecting potato tuber yield by expressing the rice sucrose transporter genes OsSUT5Z and OsSUT2M. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(7), 586–595.