Project description:microRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators in plant growth and development. miR159 is a conserved miRNA among different plant species and has various functions in plants. Studies on miR159 are mostly done on model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. In rice, studies on miR159 were either based upon genome-wide expression analyses focused upon responses to different nitrogen forms and abiotic stress or upon phenotypic studies of transgenic plants overexpressing its precursor. STTM (Short Tandem Target Mimic) is an effective tool to block the activity of endogenous mature miRNA activity in plant. Therefore, specific roles of miR159 in rice could be explored by down regulating miR159 through STTM.In this study, expression of mature miR159 was successfully suppressed by STTM which resulted in the increased expressions of its two targets genes, OsGAMYB and OsGAMYBL1 (GAMYB-LIKE 1). Overall, STTM159 plants exhibited short stature along with smaller organ size and reduction in stem diameter, length of flag leaf, main panicle, spikelet hulls and grain size. Histological analysis of stem, leaf and mature spikelet hull showed the reduced number of small vascular bundles (SVB), less number of small veins (SV) between two big veins (LV) and less cell number in outer parenchyma. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis of differentially expressed genes between wild type plants and STTM159 transgenic plants showed that genes involved in cell division, auxin, cytokinin (CK) and brassinosteroids (BRs) biosynthesis and signaling are significantly down-regulated in STTM159 plants.Our data suggests that in rice, miR159 positively regulates organ size, including stem, leaf, and grain size due to the promotion of cell division. Further analysis from the RNA-seq data showed that the decreased cell divisions in STTM159 transgenic plants may result, at least partly from the lower expression of the genes involved in cell cycle and hormone homeostasis, which provides new insights of rice miR159-specific functions.
Project description:Drought stress is a severe environmental factor that greatly restricts plant distribution and crop production. Recently, we have found that overexpressing AtWRKY57 enhanced drought tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we further reported that the Arabidopsis WRKY57 transcription factor was able to confer drought tolerance to transgenic rice (Oryza sativa) plants. The enhanced drought tolerance of transgenic rice was resulted from the lower water loss rates, cell death, malondialdehyde contents and relative electrolyte leakage while a higher proline content and reactive oxygen species-scavenging enzyme activities was observed during stress conditions. Moreover, further investigation revealed that the expression levels of several stress-responsive genes were up-regulated in drought-tolerant transgenic rice plants, compared with those in wild-type plants. In addition to the drought tolerance, the AtWRKY57 over-expressing plants also had enhanced salt and PEG stress tolerances. Taken together, our study indicates that over-expressing AtWRKY57 in rice improved not only drought tolerance but also salt and PEG tolerance, demonstrating its potential role in crop improvement.
Project description:We investigated estrogen-inducible green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression patterns using an estrogen receptor fused chimeric transcription activator, XVE, in the monocotyledonous model plant rice (Oryza sativa L.). This system has been shown to be an effective chemical-inducible gene expression system in Arabidopsis and has been applied to other plants in order to investigate gene functions or produce marker-free transgenic plants. However, limited information is available on the correlation between inducer concentration and the expression level of the gene induced in monocots. Here, we produced a transgenic rice integrated estrogen-inducible GFP expression vector, pLex:GFP, and investigated dose-response and time-course patterns of GFP induction in rice calli and seedlings for the first time. With 17-?-estradiol treatment at >5 ?M, GFP signals were detected in the entire surface of calli within 2 days of culture. Highest GFP signals were extended for 8 days with estradiol treatment at 25 ?M. In three-leaf-stage seedlings, GFP signals in the leaves of pLex:GFP-integrated transgenic lines were weaker than those in the leaves of p35S:GFP-integrated transgenic lines. However, GFP signals in the roots of pLex:GFP- and p35S:GFP-integrated transgenic lines were similar with estradiol treatment at >10 ?M. With regard to controlling appropriate gene expression, these results might provide helpful indications on estradiol treatment conditions to be used for the XVE system in rice and other monocots.
Project description:Lignin encrusts lignocellulose polysaccharides, and has long been considered an obstacle for the efficient use of polysaccharides during processes such as pulping and bioethanol fermentation. However, lignin is also a potential feedstock for aromatic products and is an important by-product of polysaccharide utilization. Therefore, producing biomass plant species exhibiting enhanced lignin production is an important breeding objective. Herein, we describe the development of transgenic rice plants with increased lignin content. Five Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) and one Oryza sativa (rice) MYB transcription factor genes that were implicated to be involved in lignin biosynthesis were transformed into rice (O. sativa L. ssp. japonica cv. Nipponbare). Among them, three Arabidopsis MYBs (AtMYB55, AtMYB61, and AtMYB63) in transgenic rice T1 lines resulted in culms with lignin content about 1.5-fold higher than that of control plants. Furthermore, lignin structures in AtMYB61-overexpressing rice plants were investigated by wet-chemistry and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy approaches. Our data suggested that heterologous expression of AtMYB61 in rice increased lignin content mainly by enriching syringyl units as well as p-coumarate and tricin moieties in the lignin polymers. We contemplate that this strategy is also applicable to lignin upregulation in large-sized grass biomass plants, such as Sorghum, switchgrass, Miscanthus and Erianthus.
Project description:The development process of seed in plants is a cycle of cells which occur gradually and regularly. One of the genes involved in controling this stage is the Wee1 gene. Wee1 encode protein kinase which plays an important role in phosphorylation, inactivation of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1)-cyclin (CYC) and inhibiting cell division at mitotic phase. The Overexpression of Wee1 leads to delaying entry into mitotic phase, resulting in enlargement of cell size due to suppression of cell division. Accordingly, the cloning and overexpressing of Wee1 in rice plant is important aim of this research in achieving better quantity and quality of future rice. The main objective of this present study is to cloning and generate transgenic rice plants overexpressing of Wee1 gene. Wee1 was isolated from cDNA of indica rice (Oryza sativa), called OsWee1. The full length of OsWee1 was 1239?bp in size and successfully inserted into plant expression vector pRI101ON. Seven-day-old rice seedlings were prepared for transformation of OsWee1 gene using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method. Four positive transgenic lines were identified through the presence of kanamycin resistance gene (nptII) using genomic PCR analysis. Southern blot analysis result provides evidence that four independent rice transformants contained one to three rearranged transgene copies. Further screening in transgenic rice generation is needed in order to obtain stable expression of OsWee1.
Project description:Glutamine synthetase (GS) is a key enzyme involved in the nitrogen metabolism of higher plants. Abiotic stresses have adverse effects on crop production and pose a serious threat to global food security. GS activity and expression is known to be significantly modulated by various abiotic stresses. However, very few transgenic overexpression studies of GS have studied its impact on abiotic stress tolerance. GS is also the target enzyme of the broad spectrum herbicide Glufosinate (active ingredient: phosphinothricin). In this study, we investigated the effect of concurrent overexpression of the rice cytosolic GS1 (OsGS1;1) and chloroplastic GS2 (OsGS2) genes in transgenic rice on its tolerance to abiotic stresses and the herbicide Glufosinate. Our results demonstrate that the co-overexpression of OsGS1;1 and OsGS2 isoforms in transgenic rice plants enhanced its tolerance to osmotic and salinity stress at the seedling stage. The transgenic lines maintained significantly higher fresh weight, chlorophyll content, and relative water content than wild type (wt) and null segregant (ns) controls, under both osmotic and salinity stress. The OsGS1;1/OsGS2 co-overexpressing transgenic plants accumulated higher levels of proline but showed lower electrolyte leakage and had lower malondialdehyde (MDA) content under the stress treatments. The transgenic lines showed considerably enhanced photosynthetic and agronomic performance under drought and salinity stress imposed during the reproductive stage, as compared to wt and ns control plants. The grain filling rates of the transgenic rice plants under reproductive stage drought stress (64.6 ± 4.7%) and salinity stress (58.2 ± 4.5%) were significantly higher than control plants, thereby leading to higher yields under these abiotic stress conditions. Preliminary analysis also revealed that the transgenic lines had improved tolerance to methyl viologen induced photo-oxidative stress. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the concurrent overexpression of OsGS1;1 and OsGS2 isoforms in rice enhanced physiological tolerance and agronomic performance under adverse abiotic stress conditions, apparently acting through multiple mechanistic routes. The transgenic rice plants also showed limited tolerance to the herbicide Glufosinate. The advantages and limitations of glutamine synthetase overexpression in crop plants, along with future strategies to overcome these limitations for utilization in crop improvement have also been discussed briefly.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Iron (Fe) is the most limiting micronutrient element for crop production in alkaline soils. A number of transcription factors involved in regulating Fe uptake from soil and transport in plants have been identified. Analysis of transcriptome data from Oryza sativa grown under limiting Fe conditions reveals that transcript abundances of several genes encoding transcription factors are altered by Fe availability. These transcription factors are putative regulators of Fe deficiency responses. RESULTS: Transcript abundance of one nuclear located basic helix-loop-helix family transcription factor, OsIRO3, is up-regulated from 25- to 90-fold under Fe deficiency in both root and shoot respectively. The expression of OsIRO3 is specifically induced by Fe deficiency, and not by other micronutrient deficiencies. Transgenic rice plants over-expressing OsIRO3 were hypersensitive to Fe deficiency, indicating that the Fe deficiency response was compromised. Furthermore, the Fe concentration in shoots of transgenic rice plants over-expressing OsIRO3 was less than that in wild-type plants. Analysis of the transcript abundances of genes normally induced by Fe deficiency in OsIRO3 over-expressing plants indicated their induction was markedly suppressed. CONCLUSION: A novel Fe regulated bHLH transcription factor (OsIRO3) that plays an important role for Fe homeostasis in rice was identified. The inhibitory effect of OsIRO3 over-expression on Fe deficiency response gene expression combined with hypersensitivity of OsIRO3 over-expression lines to low Fe suggest that OsIRO3 is a negative regulator of the Fe deficiency response in rice.