[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify potential regulators of photoassimilate partitioning, we screened for rice mutant plants that accumulate high levels of starch in the leaf blades, and a mutant line leaf starch excess 1 (LSE1) was obtained and characterized. The starch content in the leaf blades of LSE1 was more than 10-fold higher than that in wild-type plants throughout the day, while the sucrose content was unaffected. The gene responsible for the LSE1 phenotype was identified by gene mapping to be a gene encoding α-glucan water dikinase, OsGWD1 (Os06g0498400), and a 3.4-kb deletion of the gene was found in the mutant plant. Despite the hyperaccumulation of starch in their leaf blades, LSE1 plants exhibited no significant change in vegetative growth, presenting a clear contrast to the reported mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana and Lotus japonicus in which disruption of the genes for α-glucan water dikinase leads to marked inhibition of vegetative growth. In reproductive growth, however, LSE1 exhibited fewer panicles per plant, lower percentage of ripened grains and smaller grains; consequently, the grain yield was lower in LSE1 plants than in wild-type plants by 20~40%. Collectively, although α-glucan water dikinase was suggested to have universal importance in leaf starch degradation in higher plants, the physiological priority of leaf starch in photoassimilate allocation may vary among plant species.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although sucrose plays a role in sugar sensing and its signaling pathway, little is known about the regulatory mechanisms of the expressions of plant sucrose-related genes. Our previous study on the expression of the sucrose phosphate synthase gene family in rice (s) suggested the involvement of sucrose sensing and/or circadian rhythm in the transcriptional regulation of . To examine whether the promoters of s can be controlled by sugars and circadian clock, we produced transgenic rice plants harboring a promoter-luciferase construct for or and analyzed the changes in the promoter activities by monitoring bioluminescence from intact transgenic plants in real-time. Transgenic plants fed sucrose, glucose, or mannitol under continuous light conditions showed no changes in bioluminescence intensity; meanwhile, the addition of sucrose increased the concentration of sucrose in the plants, and the mRNA levels of remained constant. These results suggest that these promoters may not be regulated by sucrose levels in the tissues. Next, we investigated the changes in the promoter activities under 12-h light/12-h dark cycles and continuous light conditions. Under the light-dark cycle, both and promoter activities were low in the dark and increased rapidly after the beginning of the light period. When the transgenic rice plants were moved to the continuous light condition, both P :: and P :: reporter plants exhibited circadian bioluminescence rhythms; bioluminescence peaked during the subjective day with a 27-h period: in the early morning as for promoter and midday for promoter. These results indicate that these promoters are controlled by both light illumination and circadian clock and that the regulatory mechanism of promoter activity differs between the two genes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) constitute a large multigene family in various plant species. CDPKs have been shown to have important roles in various physiological processes, including plant growth and development and abiotic and biotic stress responses in plants. Functional analysis using gain-of-function and loss-of-function mutants has revealed the biological function of CDPKs in planta. Several CDPKs have been shown to be essential factors in abiotic stress tolerance, positively or negatively regulating stress tolerance by modulating ABA signaling and reducing the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This review summarizes recent results describing the biological function of CDPKs that are involved in abiotic stress tolerance.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) regulate the downstream components in calcium signaling pathways. We investigated the effects of overexpression and disruption of an Oryza sativa (rice) CDPK (OsCPK12) on the plant's response to abiotic and biotic stresses. OsCPK12-overexpressing (OsCPK12-OX) plants exhibited increased tolerance to salt stress. The accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H(2) O(2) ) in the leaves was less in OsCPK12-OX plants than in wild-type (WT) plants. Genes encoding reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging enzymes (OsAPx2 and OsAPx8) were more highly expressed in OsCPK12-OX plants than in WT plants, whereas the expression of the NADPH oxidase gene, OsrbohI, was decreased in OsCPK12-OX plants compared with WT plants. Conversely, a retrotransposon (Tos17) insertion mutant, oscpk12, and plants transformed with an OsCPK12 RNA interference (RNAi) construct were more sensitive to high salinity than were WT plants. The level of H(2) O(2) accumulation was greater in oscpk12 and OsCPK12 RNAi plants than in the WT. These results suggest that OsCPK12 promotes tolerance to salt stress by reducing the accumulation of ROS. We also observed that OsCPK12-OX seedlings had increased sensitivity to abscisic acid (ABA) and increased susceptibility to blast fungus, probably resulting from the repression of ROS production and/or the involvement of OsCPK12 in the ABA signaling pathway. Collectively, our results suggest that OsCPK12 functions in multiple signaling pathways, positively regulating salt tolerance and negatively modulating blast resistance.
The Plant Journal 08/2011; 69(1):26-36. · 6.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The rice genome contains 5 isogenes for sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS), the key enzyme in sucrose synthesis; however, little is known about their transcriptional regulation. In order to determine the expression patterns of the SPS gene family in rice plants, we conducted an expression analysis in various tissues and developmental stages by real-time quantitative RT-PCR. At the transcript level, the rice SPS genes, particularly SPS1, were preferentially expressed in source tissues, whereas SPS2, SPS6, and SPS8 were expressed equally in source and sink tissues. We also investigated diurnal changes in SPS gene expression, SPS activity, and soluble sugar content in leaf blades. Interestingly, the expression of all the SPS genes, particularly that of SPS1 and SPS11, tended to be higher at night when the activation state of the SPS proteins was low, and the mRNA levels of SPS1 and SPS6 were negatively correlated with sucrose content. Furthermore, the temporal patterns of SPS gene expression and sugar content under continuous light conditions suggested the involvement of endogenous rhythm and/or sucrose sensing in the transcriptional regulation of SPS genes. Our data revealed differential expression patterns in the rice SPS gene family and part of the complex mechanisms of their transcriptional control.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The excessive application of nitrogen fertilizer to maximize crop yields causes negative environmental effects such as pollution and ecological imbalance. To overcome this problem, researchers have attempted to improve the nitrogen assimilation capacity of crops. Maize Dof1 (ZmDof1) is a plant-specific transcription factor shown to promote nitrogen assimilation in Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) even under nitrogen-deficient conditions. The present study examines the effect of the introduction of the ZmDof1 gene on carbon and nitrogen assimilation in rice. ZmDof1 induced the expression of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) genes in transgenic rice plants and transactivated the PEPC promoters in protoplast transient assays, showing similar effects in rice as in Arabidopsis. Transgenic rice expressing ZmDof1 and grown in the presence of 360 μm (nitrogen-sufficient) or 90 μm (nitrogen-deficient) of nitrogen concentrations showed modulation of metabolite content and gene expression associated with the anaplerotic pathway for the TCA cycle, suggesting an increased carbon flow towards nitrogen assimilation. Furthermore, increases in carbon and nitrogen amounts per seedling were found in Dof1 rice grown under nitrogen-deficient conditions. Nitrogen deficiency also resulted in the predominant distribution of nitrogen to roots, accompanied by significant increases in root biomass and modification of the shoot-to-root ratio. Measurement of the CO₂ gas exchange rate showed a significant increase in the net photosynthesis rate in Dof1 rice under nitrogen-deficient conditions. Taken these together, the present study displayed that ZmDof1 expression in rice could induce gene expressions such as PEPC genes, modulate carbon and nitrogen metabolites, increase nitrogen assimilation and enhance growth under low-nitrogen conditions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calcium acts as a messenger in various signal transduction pathways in plants. Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) play important roles in regulating downstream components in calcium signaling pathways. In rice, the CDPKs constitute a large multigene family consisting of 29 genes, but the biological functions and functional divergence or redundancy of most of these genes remain unclear. Using a mini-scale full-length cDNA overexpressor (FOX) gene hunting system, we generated 250 independent transgenic rice plants overexpressing individual rice CDPKs (CDPK FOX-rice lines). These CDPK FOX-rice lines were screened for salt stress tolerance. The survival rate of the OsCPK21-FOX plants was higher than that of wild-type (WT) plants grown under high salinity conditions. The inhibition of seedling growth by abscisic acid (ABA) treatment was greater in the OsCPK21-FOX plants than in WT plants. Several ABA- and high salinity-inducible genes were more highly expressed in the OsCPK21-FOX plants than in WT plants. These results suggest that OsCPK21 is involved in the positive regulation of the signaling pathways that are involved in the response to ABA and salt stress.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A simple, low-cost capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS) method is demonstrated for the simultaneous analysis of amino acids and small carboxylic acids (glycerate, lactate, fumarate, succinate, malate, tartrate, citrate, iso-citrate, cis-aconitate, and shikimate). All CE-MS experiments were performed using a single uncoated fused-silica capillary and with a single separation electrolyte, formic acid. For CE polarity, the CE inlet was set as the anode, and the MS side was set as the cathode. By using high-speed sheath gas flow, the apparent mobilities of all compounds were sped up; thus, the migration times of the carboxylic acids were reduced. In positive ion mode ESI-MS detection, small carboxylic acids were detected faintly as m/z = [M + 18](+) or [M + 23](+), after protonated molecule detection (m/z = [M + 1](+)) of the amino acids. In negative ion mode, all of these small carboxylic acids were detected clearly as deprotonated molecules (m/z = [M - 1](-)), after detection of the amino acids. By changing the polarity of the MS during CE separation, both amino acids and small carboxylic acids were detectable in a single electrophoresis analysis run. With this method, the diurnal metabolic changes of pineapple leaves were observed as reflecting Crassulacean acid metabolism.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sucrose transporters (SUTs) are known to play critical roles in the uptake of sucrose from the apoplast in various steps of sugar translocation. Because developing pollen is symplastically isolated from anther tissues, it is hypothesized that SUTs are active in the uptake of apoplastic sucrose into pollen. To investigate this possibility, a comprehensive expression analysis was performed for members of the SUT gene family in the developing pollen of rice (Oryza sativa L.) using real-time RT-PCR combined with a laser microdissection technique. Among the five SUT genes, OsSUT1 and OsSUT3 were found to be preferentially expressed and had temporal expression patterns that were distinct from each other. Expression of OsSUT1 in pollen was confirmed by a promoter-GUS fusion assay. The physiological function of OsSUT1 in pollen was further investigated using retrotransposon insertion mutant lines. While the homozygote of disrupted OsSUT1 (SUT1-/-) could not be obtained, heterozygote plants (SUT1+/-) showed normal grain filling. Their progeny segregated into SUT1+/- and SUT1+/+ with the ratio of 1:1, suggesting that the pollen disrupted for OsSUT1 is dysfunctional. This hypothesis was reinforced in vivo by a backcross of SUT1+/- plants with wild-type plants and also by in vitro pollen germination on the artificial media. However, starch accumulation during pollen development was not affected by disruption of OsSUT1, suggesting that the sugar(s) required for starch biosynthesis is supplied by other sugar transporters.
Journal of Experimental Botany 08/2010; 61(13):3639-46. · 5.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In plants, glutamine synthetase (GS) is the enzyme that is mainly responsible for the assimilation of ammonium. Conversely, in microorganisms such as bacteria and Ascomycota, NADP(H)-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and GS both have important roles in ammonium assimilation. Here, we report the changes in nitrogen assimilation, metabolism, growth, and grain yield of rice plants caused by an ectopic expression of NADP(H)-GDH (gdhA) from the fungus Aspergillus niger in the cytoplasm. An investigation of the kinetic properties of purified recombinant protein showed that the fungal gdhA had 5.4-10.2 times higher V(max) value and 15.9-43.1 times higher K(m) value for NH(4)(+), compared with corresponding values for rice cytosolic GS as reported in the literature. These results suggested that the introduction of fungal GDH into rice could modify its ammonium assimilation pathway. We therefore expressed gdhA in the cytoplasm of rice plants. NADP(H)-GDH activities in the gdhA-transgenic lines were markedly higher than those in a control line. Tracer experiments by feeding with (15)NH(4)(+) showed that the introduced gdhA, together with the endogenous GS, directly assimilated NH(4)(+) absorbed from the roots. Furthermore, in comparison with the control line, the transgenic lines showed an increase in dry weight and nitrogen content when sufficient nitrogen was present, but did not do so under low-nitrogen conditions. Under field condition, the transgenic line examined showed a significant increase in grain yield in comparison with the control line. These results suggest that the introduction of fungal gdhA into rice plants could lead to better growth and higher grain yield by enhancing the assimilation of ammonium.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rice (Oryza sativa) is indispensable in the diet of most of the world's population. Thus, it is an important target in which to alter iron (Fe) uptake and homeostasis, so as to increase Fe accumulation in the grain. We previously isolated OsYSL2, a functional iron [Fe(II)]- and manganese [Mn(II)]-nicotianamine complex transporter that is expressed in phloem cells and developing seeds. We produced RNAi (OsYSL2i) and overexpression lines (OXOsYSL2) of OsYSL2. At the vegetative stage in an OsYSL2i line, the Fe and Mn concentrations were decreased in the shoots, and the Fe concentration was increased in the roots. At the reproductive stage, positron-emitting tracer imaging system analysis revealed that Fe translocation to the shoots and seeds was suppressed in OsYSL2i. The Fe and Mn concentrations were decreased in the seeds of OsYSL2i, especially in the endosperm. Moreover, the Fe concentration in OXOsYSL2 was lower in the seeds and shoots, but higher in the roots, compared with the wild type. Furthermore, when OsYSL2 expression was driven by the sucrose transporter promoter, the Fe concentration in the polished rice was up to 4.4-fold higher compared with the wild type. These results indicate that the altered expression of OsYSL2 changes the localization of Fe, and that OsYSL2 is a critical Fe-nicotianamine transporter important for Fe translocation, especially in the shoots and endosperm.
The Plant Journal 05/2010; 62(3):379-90. · 6.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The excessive amounts of nitrogen applied in current farming systems can cause environmental problems. There is therefore a need to improve the ability of crop plants to utilize nitrogenous fertilizers. We screened for nitrogen deficiency-tolerant lines among transgenic rice plants that overexpressed full-length cDNAs (FL-cDNAs) corresponding to low-nitrogen response genes, genes related to nitrogen metabolism, and genes related to carbon metabolism. We found that overexpression of OsCPK12 FL-cDNA, encoding a calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK), conferred tolerance to low-nitrogen stress in rice. After two weeks of low-nitrogen treatment, dry weights of shoots from OsCPK12-overexpressing plants were greater than those from control plants. Furthermore, total nitrogen contents of OsCPK12-overexpressing plants were higher than those of the control plants. Our findings suggest that OsCPK12 is involved in the signal transduction pathway(s) in the low-nitrogen stress response and may be useful in engineering crop plants with improved tolerance to low nitrogen levels.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Grain filling of rice (Oryza sativa L.) is thought to be affected not only by the supply of carbohydrate from source organs, but also by sink activity, including the activities of enzymes related in starch synthesis. To examine the effect of translocated carbohydrate on sink activity, we cultured detached ears (cut 7 days after flowering) in a solution containing sucrose at various concentrations, glutamine and vitamins. Grain weights 16 days after the start of ear culture increased with increasing sucrose concentration up to 50–70 g sucrose l−1, but not above this range, probably because of low water potential. Activities of ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase, soluble starch synthase and sucrose synthase rapidly decreased in grains grown without sucrose, but increased with increasing sucrose concentration up to 50–70 g l−1. Expression of mRNAs for these enzymes and for sucrose transporter was also generally increased by sucrose at 50–70 g l−1. Though there was a good correlation between activity and expression of mRNA for sucrose synthase, the correlation for other enzymes was not very good. Thus, we suggested that the sink activity of grains in rice ears, and therefore the grain filling, was affected by the supply of carbohydrate from source organs, and that it was also owing to factors other than transcriptional regulation.
Physiologia Plantarum 06/2005; 124(3):301 - 310. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In rice, caryopses located at the base of the panicle have a lower growth rate than those at the tip of the panicle. The former and latter types of caryopses are called inferior and superior caryopses, respectively. Taking the different growth rate into consideration, sugar status and the expression of genes encoding carbohydrate-metabolizing enzymes in inferior caryopses were compared with those in superior caryopses. During the first 5 d after flowering, superior caryopses elongated rapidly, but inferior caryopses did not. At this phase, inferior caryopses had a low ratio of hexose to sucrose, high activity of acid invertase and the absence of the expression of the genes encoding the above enzymes except for two isoforms of cell wall invertase, OsCIN4 and INV1, in comparison with superior caryopses. At the start of caryopsis elongation in both superior and inferior caryopses, the hexose/sucrose ratio increased accompanied by gene expression of vacuolar invertase (INV3), sucrose synthase (RSus1) and ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGP-L2: D50317). Furthermore, the genes related to endospermal starch accumulation were expressed highly with the decrease in the hexose/sucrose ratio after its peak. Based on the comparison of superior and inferior caryopses, the possible mechanism of grain filling in rice is discussed.
Plant and Cell Physiology 05/2005; 46(4):620-8. · 4.13 Impact Factor