Mechanism of delayed seed germination caused by high temperature during grain filling in rice (Oryza sativa L.).
ABSTRACT: High temperature during grain filling considerably reduces yield and quality in rice (Oryza sativa L.); however, how high temperature affects seed germination of the next generation is not yet well understood. Here, we report that seeds from plants exposed to high temperature during the grain filling stage germinated significantly later than seeds from unstressed plants. This delay remained even after dormancy release treatments, suggesting that it was not due to primary seed dormancy determined during grain filling. In imbibed embryos of heat-stressed seeds, expression of abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis genes (OsNCEDs) was higher than in those of control seeds, whereas that of ABA catabolism genes (OsABA8'OHs) was lower. In the aleurone layer, despite no change in GA signaling as evidenced by no effect of heat stress on OsGAMYB gene expression, the transcripts of ?-amylase genes OsAmy1C, OsAmy3B, and OsAmy3E were significantly down-regulated in heat-stressed seeds in comparison with controls. Changes in promoter methylation levels were consistent with transcriptional changes of ABA catabolism-related and ?-amylase genes. These data suggest that high temperature during grain filling results in DNA methylation of ABA catabolism-related and ?-amylase gene promoters, delaying germination of heat-stressed seeds.
Project description:Seeds respond to environmental signals, tuning their dormancy cycles to the seasons and thereby determining the optimum time for plant establishment. The molecular regulation of dormancy cycling is unknown, but an extensive range of mechanisms have been identified in laboratory experiments. Using a targeted investigation of gene expression over the dormancy cycle of Arabidopsis seeds in the field, we investigated how these mechanisms are seasonally coordinated. Depth of dormancy and gene expression patterns were correlated with seasonal changes in soil temperature. The results were consistent with abscisic acid (ABA) signaling linked to deep dormancy in winter being repressed in spring concurrent with enhanced DELLA repression of germination as depth of dormancy decreased. Dormancy increased during winter as soil temperature declined and expression of ABA synthesis (NCED6) and gibberellic acid (GA) catabolism (GA2ox2) genes increased. This was linked to an increase in endogenous ABA that plateaus, but dormancy and DOG1 and MFT expression continued to increase. The expression of SNF1-related protein kinases, SnrK 2.1 and 2.4, also increased consistent with enhanced ABA signaling and sensitivity being modulated by seasonal soil temperature. Dormancy then declined in spring and summer. Endogenous ABA decreased along with positive ABA signaling as expression of ABI2, ABI4, and ABA catabolism (CYP707A2) and GA synthesis (GA3ox1) genes increased. However, during the low-dormancy phase in the summer, expression of transcripts for the germination repressors RGA and RGL2 increased. Unlike deep winter dormancy, this represson can be removed on exposure to light, enabling the completion of germination at the correct time of year.
Project description:In the Australian wheat belts, short episodes of high temperatures or hot spells during grain filling are becoming increasingly common and have an enormous impact on yield and quality, bringing multi-billion losses annually. This problem will become recurrent under the climate change scenario that forecast increasing extreme temperatures, but so far, no systematic analysis of the resistance to hot spells has yet been performed in a diverse genetic background. We developed a protocol to study the effects of heat on three important traits: grain size, grain dormancy and the presence of Late Maturity α-Amylase (LMA), and we validated it by analysing the phenotypes of 28 genetically diverse wheat landraces and exploring the potential variability existing in the responses to hot spells. Using controlled growth environments, the different genotypes were grown in our standard conditions until 20 days after anthesis, and then moved for 10 days into a heat chamber. Our study showed that our elevated temperature treatment during mid-late filling triggered multiple detrimental effects on yield and quality. We observed a reduction in grain size, a reduction in grain dormancy and increased LMA expression in most of the tested genotypes, but potential resistant lines were identified for each analyzed trait opening new perspectives for future genetic studies and breeding for heat-insensitive commercial lines.
Project description:Despite being of vital importance for seed establishment and grain quality, starch degradation remains poorly understood in organs such as cereal or legume seeds. In cereals, starch degradation requires the synergetic action of different isoforms of α-amylases. Ubiquitous overexpression of TaAmy2 resulted in a 2.0-437.6-fold increase of total α-amylase activity in developing leaf and harvested grains. These increases led to dramatic alterations of starch visco-properties and augmentation of soluble carbohydrate levels (mainly sucrose and α-gluco-oligosaccharide) in grain. Interestingly, the overexpression of TaAMY2 led to an absence of dormancy in ripened grain due to abscisic acid (ABA) insensitivity. Using an allosteric α-amylase inhibitor (acarbose), we demonstrated that ABA insensitivity was due to the increased soluble carbohydrate generated by the α-amylase excess. Independent from the TaAMY2 overexpression, inhibition of α-amylase during germination led to the accumulation of soluble α-gluco-oligosaccharides without affecting the first stage of germination. These findings support the hypotheses that (i) endosperm sugar may overcome ABA signalling and promote sprouting, and (ii) α-amylase may not be required for the initial stage of grain germination, an observation that questions the function of the amylolytic enzyme in the starch degradation process during germination.
Project description:Serine carboxypeptidase (SCP) is one of the largest groups of enzymes catalyzing proteolysis for functional protein maturation. To date, little is known about the function of SCPs in rice. In this study, we present a comprehensive analysis of the gene structure and expression profile of 59 rice SCPs. SCP46 is dominantly expressed in developing seeds, particularly in embryo, endosperm and aleurone layers, and could be induced by ABA. Functional characterization revealed that knock-down of SCP46 resulted in smaller grain size and enhanced seed germination. Furthermore, scp46 seed germination became less sensitive to the ABA inhibition than the Wild-type did; suggesting SCP46 is involved in ABA signaling. As indicated by RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analysis, numerous grain filling and seed dormancy related genes, such as SP, VP1 and AGPs were down-regulated in scp46. Yeast-two-hybrid assay also showed that SCP46 interacts with another ABA-inducible protein DI19-1. Taken together, we suggested that SCP46 is a master regulator of grain filling and seed germination, possibly via participating in the ABA signaling. The results of this study shed novel light into the roles of SCPs in rice.
Project description:To gain insights into the molecular basis of starch degradation in wheat seeds with respect to dormancy maintenance and release, this study compared the expression of starch degrading genes between dormant and after-ripened seeds in both dry and imbibed states. Furthermore, the study examined the effect of ABA on the expression of starch degrading genes during imbibition of non-dormant seeds. Release of dormancy due to after-ripening led to the upregulation of specific genes encoding ?-amylase and ?-glucosidase during imbibition while dormancy maintenance is associated with repression of these genes. It appears from our result that ABA delays the germination of wheat seeds at least partly through repression of the starch degrading genes.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: ?-Amylase in grass caryopses (seeds) is usually expressed upon commencement of germination and is rarely seen in dry, mature seeds. A heat-stable ?-amylase activity was unexpectedly selected for expression in dry annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) seeds during targeted selection for low primary dormancy. The aim of this study was to characterize this constitutive activity biochemically and determine if its presence conferred insensitivity to the germination inhibitors abscisic acid and benzoxazolinone. METHODS: ?-Amylase activity in developing, mature and germinating seeds from the selected (low-dormancy) and a field-collected (dormant) population was characterized by native activity PAGE. The response of seed germination and ?-amylase activity to abscisic acid and benzoxazolinone was assessed. Using an alginate affinity matrix, ?-amylase was purified from dry and germinating seeds for analysis of its enzymatic properties. KEY RESULTS: The constitutive ?-amylase activity appeared late during seed development and was mainly localized in the aleurone; in germinating seeds, this activity was responsive to both glucose and gibberellin. It migrated differently on native PAGE compared with the major activities in germinating seeds of the dormant population, but the enzymatic properties of ?-amylase purified from the low-dormancy and dormant seeds were largely indistinguishable. Seed imbibition on benzoxazolinone had little effect on the low-dormancy seeds but greatly inhibited germination and ?-amylase activity in the dormant population. CONCLUSIONS: The constitutive ?-amylase activity in annual ryegrass seeds selected for low dormancy is electrophoretically different from that in germinating seeds and its presence confers insensitivity to benzoxazolinone. The concurrent selection of low dormancy and constitutive ?-amylase activity may help to enhance seedling establishment under competitive conditions.
Project description:Stay-green, a key trait of wheat, can not only increase the yield of wheat but also its resistance to heat stress during active photosynthesis. Cytokinins are the most potent general coordinator between the stay-green trait and senescence. The objectives of the present study were to identify and assess the effects of cytokinins on the photosynthetic organ and heat resistance in wheat. Two winter wheat cultivars, Wennong 6 (a stay-green cultivar) and Jimai 20 (a control cultivar), were subjected to heat stress treatment from 1 to 5 days after anthesis (DAA). The two cultivars were sprayed daily with 10 mg L-1 of 6-benzylaminopurine (6-BA) between 1 and 3 DAA under ambient and elevated temperature conditions. We found that the heat stress significantly decreased the number of kernels per spike and the grain yield (P < 0.05). Heat stress also decreased the zeatin riboside (ZR) content, but increased the gibberellin (GA3), indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), and abscisic acid (ABA) contents at 3 to 15 DAA. Application of 6-BA significantly (P < 0.05) increased the grain-filling rate, endosperm cell division rate, endosperm cell number, and 1,000-grain weight under heated condition. 6-BA application increased ZR and IAA contents at 3 to 28 DAA, but decreased GA3 and ABA contents. The contents of ZR, ABA, and IAA in kernels were positively and significantly correlated with the grain-filling rate (P < 0.05), whereas GA3 was counter-productive at 3 to 15 DAA. These results suggest that the decrease in grain yield under heat stress was due to a lower ZR content and a higher GA3 content compared to that at elevated temperature during the early development of the kernels, which resulted in less kernel number and lower grain-filling rate. The results also provide essential information for further utilization of the cytokinin substances in the cultivation of heat-resistant wheat.
Project description:Dormancy cycling controls the seasonal conditions under which seeds germinate, and these conditions strongly influence growth and survival of plants. Several endogenous and environmental signals affect the dormancy status of seeds. Factors such as time, light, and temperature influence the balance between abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellic acid (GA), two phytohormones that play a key role in seed dormancy and germination. High temperatures have been shown to increase ABA level and prevent seed germination, a process known as thermoinhibition. High temperature can also cause the acquisition of secondary dormancy, preventing germination of seeds upon their return to favorable germination conditions. The mechanisms and conditions linking thermoinhibition and secondary dormancy remain unclear. Phytochromes are photoreceptors known to promote seed germination of many plant species including Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we demonstrate a role for PHYD in modulating secondary dormancy acquisition in seeds exposed to high temperature. We found that a functional PHYD gene is required for the germination of seeds that experienced high temperature, and that ABA- and GA-related gene expression during and after pre-incubation at high temperatures was altered in a phyD mutant. We further show that the level of PHYD mRNA increased in seeds pre-incubated at high temperature and that this increase correlates with efficient removal of the germination repressor PIL5.
Project description:To investigate the differential responses of super rice grain filling to low filling stage temperature (LT) and the regulative effect of nitrogen panicle fertilizer (NPF), physiological and molecular experiments were conducted with two super rice varieties (Nanjing 7th: N7 and Nanjing 9108th: N9108) on two different filling stage temperature treatments implemented by applying two sowing dates [Normal filling stage temperature (CK): Sowed on May 30, Tmean = 24.7°C and low filling stage temperature (LT): Sowed on July 1, Tmean = 20.3°C], and two NPF levels (0 and 150 kg N ha−1). In this study, LT, NPF, and simultaneous LT and NPF treatments suppressed the grain filling in all varieties with different levels. Under LT or NPF treatments, the reduction of grain weight, seed setting rate, and filling rate were closely associated with suppressed starch biosynthesis rate in inferior seeds, suggesting that reduced starch biosynthesis rate, expression, and activities of enzymes encoded by related genes, Floury endosperm-4 (FLO4), Starch branching enzyme-I (SBE1), and Starch phosphorylase-L (PHO-l), were responsible for the grain filling reduction. Under LT or NPF treatments, significantly higher grain filling rates and lower variance were found in N9108 compared to that in N7, which were closely related to their higher starch biosynthesis ability, related gene expression, and enzymes activities. One of the probable explanations of the grain filling difference was the variation in the relative amount of key regulative hormones, Abscisic acid (ABA) and 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC). These results raise a possibility that super rice with higher sink activities has superior adaptability to LT and NPF due to their higher sink activities.
Project description:Temperature is the primary factor that affects seed dormancy and germination. However, the molecular mechanism that underlies its effect on dormancy alleviation remained largely unknown. In this study, we investigate hormone involvement in temperature induced germination as compared to that caused by after-ripening. Dormant (D) sunflower seeds cannot germinate at 10 °C but fully germinate at 20 °C. After-ripened seeds become non-dormant (ND), i.e. able to germinate at 10 °C. Pharmacological experiments showed the importance of abscisic acid (ABA), gibberellins (GAs) and ethylene in temperature- and after-ripening-induced germination of sunflower seeds. Hormone quantification showed that after-ripening is mediated by a decline in both ABA content and sensitivity while ABA content is increased in D seeds treated at 10 or 20 °C, suggesting that ABA decrease is not a prerequisite for temperature induced dormancy alleviation. GAs and ethylene contents were in accordance with germination potential of the three conditions (GA<sub>1</sub> was higher in D 20 °C and ND 10 °C than in D 10 °C). Transcripts analysis showed that the major change concerns ABA and GAs metabolism genes, while ABA signalling gene expression was significantly unchanged. Moreover, another level of hormonal regulation at the subcellular localization has been revealed by immunocytolocalization study. Indeed, ABA, protein Abscisic acid-Insensitive 5 (ABI5), involved in ABA-regulated gene expression and DELLA protein RGL2, a repressor of the gibberellins signalling pathway, localized mainly in the nucleus in non-germinating seeds while they localized in the cytosol in germinating seeds. Furthermore, ACC-oxidase (ACO) protein, the key ethylene biosynthesis enzyme, was detected in the meristem only in germinating seeds. Our results reveal the importance of hormone actors trafficking in the cell and their regulation in specialized tissue such as the meristem in dormancy alleviation and germination.