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Plant & cell physiology

Essential Role of Sugar Transporter OsSWEET11 During the Early Stage of Rice Grain Filling.


PMID 28371825

Abstract

This study investigated the role of the sugar transporter OsSWEET11 during the early stage of rice caryopsis development using β-glucoronidase (GUS) to represent its expression, together with clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats-CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR-Cas9)-mediated knockout, cross-fertilization and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analyses. The results showed that OsSWEET11 was expressed strongly in developing caryopsis, particularly in the ovular vascular trace, nucellar epidermis and cross cells. The knockout of OsSWEET11 significantly decreased the sucrose concentration in the mutant embryo sacs and led to defective grain filling compared with that of the wild-type (WT) plant. Moreover, the expression of 2,549 genes in the mutant caryopsis was affected. The grain weight and seed setting percentage were also decreased in the mutants. The cross-fertilization of the mutant and WT rice revealed that the mutated maternal donor induced defective grain filling. These results strongly suggested that OsSWEET11 played an important role in sucrose release from maternal tissue to the maternal-filial interface during the early stage of caryopsis development. It might also induce sucrose release from the ovular vascular trace and cross cells of developing caryopsis. These findings bridge the gap in the understanding of post-phloem sugar transport during the early stage of rice caryopsis development.