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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00223

Identification of ZHOUPI Orthologs in Rice Involved in Endosperm Development and Cuticle Formation

  • 1Key Laboratory of Soybean Molecular Design Breeding, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology (CAS), China

The endosperm occupies most of the available space within mature rice seeds, contains abundant nutrients, and directly influences both the quality and quantity of rice production. Initial reports noted that AtZHOUPI (AtZOU) coordinates endosperm breakdown and the concomitant separation of the embryo from this structure in Arabidopsis. The results of this study show that rice genomes contain two most closely related homologs of AtZOU, OsZOU-1 and OsZOU-2; of these, OsZOU-1 expression is limited to within the endosperm where it can be detected throughout this structure five days after pollination (DAP). Its expression gradually decreases from seven DAP to nine DAP. The second of the two most closely related homologs, OsZOU-2, is highly expressed in leaves and stem, but is not detected in developing seeds. Heterologous expression of OsZOU-1 and OsZOU-2 in Atzou-4 mutants also revealed that OsZOU-1 partially complements the seed phenotypes of these individuals, while its counterpart, OsZOU-2, was unable to recover these phenotypes. The over-expression of OsZOU-1 severely disrupts both seed development and plant growth in transgenic rice lines, as plants in which this gene has been knocked down failed in the separation of endosperm from embryo and cuticle formation during seed development. The results of this study therefore suggest that OsZOU-1 is orthologous to the AtZOU, and regulates both endosperm development and cuticle formation in rice.

Keywords: rice, Transcription Factors, OsZOU-1, Endosperm development, Cuticle formation

Received: 07 Oct 2017; Accepted: 06 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Patricia Springer, University of California, Riverside, United States

Reviewed by:

Simona Masiero, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
Dawit G. Teklelyohans, University of Bremen, Germany  

Copyright: © 2018 Dou, Zhang, Yang and Feng. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Suxin Yang, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology (CAS), Key Laboratory of Soybean Molecular Design Breeding, Changchun, China, yangsuxin@iga.ac.cn
Prof. Xianzhong Feng, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology (CAS), Key Laboratory of Soybean Molecular Design Breeding, Changchun, China, fengxianzhong@neigae.ac.cn