A Silent Exonic Mutation in a Rice Integrin-? FG-GAP Repeat-Containing Gene Causes Male-Sterility by Affecting mRNA Splicing.
ABSTRACT: Pollen development plays crucial roles in the life cycle of higher plants. Here we characterized a rice mutant with complete male-sterile phenotype, pollen-less 1 (pl1). pl1 exhibited smaller anthers with arrested pollen development, absent Ubisch bodies, necrosis-like tapetal hypertrophy, and smooth anther cuticular surface. Molecular mapping revealed a synonymous mutation in the fourth exon of PL1 co-segregated with the mutant phenotype. This mutation disrupts the exon-intron splice junction in PL1, generating aberrant mRNA species and truncated proteins. PL1 is highly expressed in the tapetal cells of developing anther, and its protein is co-localized with plasma membrane (PM) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) signal. PL1 encodes an integrin-? FG-GAP repeat-containing protein, which has seven ?-sheets and putative Ca2+-binding motifs and is broadly conserved in terrestrial plants. Our findings therefore provide insights into both the role of integrin-? FG-GAP repeat-containing protein in rice male fertility and the influence of exonic mutation on intronic splice donor site selection.
Project description:In flowering plants, ideal male reproductive development requires the systematic coordination of various processes, in which timely differentiation and degradation of the anther wall, especially the tapetum, is essential for both pollen formation and anther dehiscence. Here, we show that OsGPAT3, a conserved glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase gene, plays a critical role in regulating anther wall degradation and pollen exine formation. The gpat3-2 mutant had defective synthesis of Ubisch bodies, delayed programmed cell death (PCD) of the inner three anther layers, and abnormal degradation of micropores/pollen grains, resulting in failure of pollen maturation and complete male sterility. Complementation and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated 9 (Cas9) experiments demonstrated that OsGPAT3 is responsible for the male sterility phenotype. Furthermore, the expression level of tapetal PCD-related and nutrient metabolism-related genes changed significantly in the gpat3-2 anthers. Based on these genetic and cytological analyses, OsGPAT3 is proposed to coordinate the differentiation and degradation of the anther wall and pollen grains in addition to regulating lipid biosynthesis. This study provides insights for understanding the function of GPATs in regulating rice male reproductive development, and also lays a theoretical basis for hybrid rice breeding.
Project description:Pollen fecundity is crucial to crop productivity and also to biodiversity in general. Pollen development is supported by the tapetum, a metabolically active sporophytic nurse layer that devotes itself to this process. The tapetum in cereals and a vast majority of other plants is of the nonamoeboid type. Unable to reach out to microspores, it secretes nutrients into the anther locule where the microspores reside and develop. Orbicules (Ubisch bodies), studied in various plants since their discovery approximately 140 years ago, are a hallmark of the secretory tapetum. Their significance to tapetal or pollen development has not been established. We have identified in wheat and rice an anther-specific single-copy gene (per haploid genome equivalent) whose suppression in rice by RNA interference nearly eliminated the seed set. The flowers in the transgenics were normal for female functions, but the pollen collapsed and became less viable. Further characterization of the gene product, named RAFTIN, in wheat has shown that it is present in pro-orbicule bodies and it is accumulated in Ubisch bodies. Furthermore, it is targeted to microspore exine. Although the carboxyl portion of RAFTINs shares short, dispersed amino acid sequences (BURP domain) in common with a variety of proteins of disparate biological contexts, the occurrence RAFTIN per se is limited to cereals; neither the Arabidopsis genome nor the vast collection of ESTs suggests any obvious dicot homologs. Furthermore, our results show that RAFTIN is essential for the late phase of pollen development in cereals.
Project description:Autophagy has recently been shown to be required for tapetal programmed cell death (PCD) and pollen maturation in rice. A transcriptional regulatory network is also known to play a key role in the progression of tapetal PCD. However, the relationship between the gene regulatory network and autophagy in rice anther development is mostly unknown. Here, we comprehensively analyzed the effect of autophagy disruption on gene expression profile during the tapetal PCD in rice anther development using high-throughput RNA sequencing. Expression of thousands of genes, including specific transcription factors and several proteases required for tapetal degradation, fluctuated synchronously at specific stages during tapetal PCD progression in the wild-type anthers, while this fluctuation showed significant delay in the autophagy-deficient mutant Osatg7-1. Moreover, gene ontology enrichment analysis in combination with self-organizing map clustering as well as pathway analysis revealed that the expression patterns of a variety of organelle-related genes as well as genes involved in carbohydrate/lipid metabolism were affected in the Osatg7-1 mutant during pollen maturation. These results suggest that autophagy is required for proper regulation of gene expression and quality control of organelles and timely progression of tapetal PCD during rice pollen development.
Project description:Anther development progresses through 15 distinct developmental stages in wheat, and accurate determination of anther developmental stages is essential in anther and pollen studies. A detailed outline of the development of the wheat anther through its entire developmental program, including the 15 distinct morphological stages, is presented. In bread wheat (Triticum aestivum), anther developmental stages were correlated with five measurements, namely auricle distance, spike length, spikelet length, anther length and anther width. Spike length and auricle distance were shown to be suitable for rapid anther staging within cultivars. Anther length is an accurate measurement in determining anther stages and may be applicable for use between cultivars. Tapetal Programmed Cell Death (PCD) in wheat begins between late tetrad stage (stage 8) and the early young microspore stage (stage 9) of anther development. Tapetal PCD continues until the vacuolate pollen stage (stage 11), at which point the tapetum fully degrades. The timing of tapetal PCD initiation is slightly delayed compared to that in rice, but is two stages earlier than in the model dicot Arabidopsis. The MYB80 gene, which encodes a transcription factor regulating the timing of tapetal PCD, reaches its peak expression at the onset of tapetal PCD in wheat.
Project description:BACKGROUND:During pollen wall formation in flowering plants, a conserved metabolon consisting of acyl-CoA synthetase (ACOS), polyketide synthase (PKS) and tetraketide α-pyrone reductase (TKPR), is required for sporopollenin synthesis. Despite this, the precise function of each of these components in different species remains unclear. RESULTS:In this study, we characterized the function of OsTKPR1, a rice orthologue of Arabidopsis TKPR1. Loss of function of OsTKPR1 delayed tapetum degradation, reduced the levels of anther cuticular lipids, and impaired Ubisch body and pollen exine formation, resulting in complete male sterility. In addition, the phenylpropanoid pathway in mutant anthers was remarkably altered. Localization studies suggest that OsTKPR1 accumulates in the endoplasmic reticulum, while specific accumulation of OsTKPR1 mRNA in the anther tapetum and microspores is consistent with its function in anther and pollen wall development. CONCLUSIONS:Our results show that OsTKPR1 is indispensable for anther cuticle development and pollen wall formation in rice, providing new insights into the biochemical mechanisms of the conserved sporopollenin metabolon in flowering plants.
Project description:Male reproductive development involves a complex series of biological events and precise transcriptional regulation is essential for this biological process in flowering plants. Several transcriptional factors have been reported to regulate tapetum and pollen development, however the transcriptional mechanism underlying Ubisch bodies and pollen wall formation remains less understood. Here, we characterized and isolated a male sterility mutant of TDR INTERACTING PROTEIN 3 (TIP3) in rice. The tip3 mutant displayed smaller and pale yellow anthers without mature pollen grains, abnormal Ubisch body morphology, no pollen wall formation, as well as delayed tapetum degeneration. Map-based cloning demonstrated that TIP3 encodes a conserved PHD-finger protein and further study confirmed that TIP3 functioned as a transcription factor with transcriptional activation activity. TIP3 is preferentially expressed in the tapetum and microspores during anther development. Moreover, TIP3 can physically interact with TDR, which is a key component of the transcriptional cascade in regulating tapetum development and pollen wall formation. Furthermore, disruption of TIP3 changed the expression of several genes involved in tapetum development and degradation, biosynthesis and transport of lipid monomers of sporopollenin in tip3 mutant. Taken together, our results revealed an unprecedented role for TIP3 in regulating Ubisch bodies and pollen exine formation, and presents a potential tool to manipulate male fertility for hybrid rice breeding.
Project description:BACKGROUND:As one of the main crops in the world, sterility of rice (Oryza sativa L.) significantly affects the production and leads to yield decrease. Our previous research showed that OsPUB73, which encodes U-box domain-containing protein 73, may be associated with male sterility. However, little information is available on this gene that is required for anther development. In the present study, we knocked out OsPUB73 by using the CRISPR/Cas9 system and studied the cytological and transcriptome of the gene-defect associated with pollen development and sterility in the rice variety (Taichung 65). RESULTS:The sequence analysis indicated that OsPUB73 was comprised of 3 exons and 2 introns, of which CDS encoded 586 amino acids including a U-box domain. The expression pattern of OsPUB73 showed that it was highly expressed in the anther during meiosis stage. The ospub73 displayed low pollen fertility (19.45%), which was significantly lower than wild type (WT) (85.37%). Cytological observation showed tapetum vacuolated at the meiosis stage and pollen exine was abnormal at the bi-cellular pollen stage of ospub73. RNA-seq analysis detected 2240 down and 571 up-regulated genes in anther of ospub73 compared with WT during meiosis stage. Among of 2240 down-regulated genes, seven known genes were associated with tapetal cell death or pollen exine development, including CYP703A3 (Cytochrome P450 Hydroxylase703A3), CYP704B2 (Cytochrome P450 Hydroxylase704B2), DPW (Defective Pollen Wall), PTC1 (Persistant Tapetal Cell1), UDT1 (Undeveloped Tapetum1), OsAP37 (Aspartic protease37) and OsABCG15 (ATP binding cassette G15), which were validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). These results suggested OsPUB73 may play an important role in tapetal or pollen exine development and resulted in pollen partial sterility. CONCLUSION:Our results revealed that OsPUB73 plays an important role in rice male reproductive development, which provides valuable information about the molecular mechanisms of the U-box in rice male reproductive development.
Project description:We have previously shown that autophagy is required for post meiotic anther development including programmed cell death-mediated degradation of the tapetum and pollen maturation in rice. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of autophagy in the tapetum remain poorly understood. We here established an in vivo imaging technique to analyze the dynamics of autophagy in rice tapetum cells by expressing green fluorescent protein-tagged AtATG8, a marker for autophagosomes. 3D-imaging analysis revealed that the number of autophagosomes/autophagy-related structures is extremely low at the tetrad stage (stage 8), and autophagy is dramatically induced at the uninucleate stages (stage 9-10) throughout the tapetal cells during anther development. The present monitoring system for autophagy offers a powerful tool to analyze the regulation of autophagy in rice tapetal cells during pollen maturation.
Project description:Cuticle waxes, which are primarily comprised of very-long-chain (VLC) alkanes, play an important role in plant reproductive development. ECERIFERUM1 (CER1) is recognized as the core element for VLC alkane biosynthesis in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). However, genes involved in the VLC alkane biosynthesis in rice remain unclear, and the alkane-form pathway in rice has still to be further explored. Here, we show that OsCER1, a homology of CER1, functions in VLC alkanes biosynthesis, which also could regulate anther development and plastids differentiation in rice. OsCER1 was highly expressed in the tapetum (stage 10) and bicellular pollen cells (stage 11). The decreased content of VLC alkanes (C25 and C27) in the OsCER1 knocked down plants as well as the increased content of C27 alkanes in the OsCER1 overexpression plants indicates that OsCER1 participates in VLC alkane biosynthesis. Downregulation of OsCER1 in rice led to sterility, and fewer amyloplasts within the mature pollen grains. In addition, the downregulation of OsCER1 in rice caused delayed tapetal programmed cell death and abnormal development of plastids in the tapetal cells. Furthermore, significantly altered levels of expression of genes involved in the pollen development were exhibited in the OsCER1 knocked down plants. These results indicate that OsCER1 is critical for VLC alkanes biosynthesis, plastids differentiation, and pollen development. This work provides insights into the VLC alkanes biosynthesis in anther development in rice.
Project description:Proteins of the ARGONAUTE (AGO) family function in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression. Although the rice (Oryza sativa) genome encodes 19 predicted AGO proteins, few of their functions have thus far been characterized. Here, we show that the AGO protein OsAGO2 regulates anther development in rice. OsAGO2 was highly expressed in anthers. Knockdown of OsAGO2 led to the overaccumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and abnormal anther development, causing premature initiation of tapetal programmed cell death (PCD) and pollen abortion. The expression level of Hexokinase 1 (OsHXK1) increased significantly, and the methylation levels of its promoter decreased, in plants with knocked-down OsAGO2 expression. Overexpression of OsHXK1 also resulted in the overaccumulation of ROS, premature initiation of PCD, and pollen abortion. Moreover, knockdown of OsHXK1 restored pollen fertility in OsAGO2 knockdown plants. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that OsAGO2 binds directly to the OsHXK1 promoter region, suggesting that OsHXK1 is a target gene of OsAGO2. These results indicate that OsHXK1 controls the appropriate production of ROS and the proper timing of tapetal PCD and is directly regulated by OsAGO2 through epigenetic regulation.