Published on Mon Jul 05 2021

A SUBTILISIN-LIKE SERINE PROTEASE1 (OsSUBSrP1), plays an important role in the wax and cutin pathway, is essential for panicle development in rice

Ali, A., Wu, T., Zhang, H., Xu, P., Zafar, S. A., Liao, Y., Chen, X., Liu, Y., Wang, W., Wu, X.

The anthers from the apical spikelets of apa1331 were degenerated, pollen-less and showed lack of cuticle formation. Transverse sections showed normal meiosis till stage 5-6, however, defects in post-meiotic microspore development were found at stage 8-9.

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Abstract

Panicle degeneration is a severe physiological defect and causes reduction in grain yield. In this study, we characterized and presented the functional analysis of our previously reported mutant apa1331 (apical panicle abortion1331) that showed apical spikelet degeneration. The anthers from the apical spikelets of apa1331 were degenerated, pollen-less and showed lack of cuticle formation. Transverse sections showed normal meiosis till stage 5-6, however, defects in post-meiotic microspore development were found at stage 8-9 in apa1331. Measurement of wax and cutin analysis showed a significant reduction in anthers of apa1331 compared to Wildtype (WT). Quantification of H2O2 and MDA has indicated the excessive ROS (reactive oxygen species) in apa1331. Trypan blue staining, and TUNEL assay revealed cell death and excessive DNA fragmentation in apa1331. Map-based cloning and Mutmap analysis identified a candidate gene (LOC_Os04g40720) that is a SUBTILISIN-LIKE SERINE PROTEASE (OsSUBSrP1) which harbored an SNP (A>G) in apa1331. CRISPR-mediated knock-out lines of OsSUBSrP1 displayed spikelet degeneration comparable to apa1331. Global gene expression analysis revealed a significant downregulation of wax and cutin biosynthesis genes e.g., OsWDA1, OsMS2 and OsCER4 in apa1331. Our study reports the novel role of SUBSrP1 in ROS-mediated cell death in panicle development.