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, 83 (3), 528-36

PAY1 Improves Plant Architecture and Enhances Grain Yield in Rice

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PAY1 Improves Plant Architecture and Enhances Grain Yield in Rice

Lei Zhao et al. Plant J.

Abstract

Plant architecture, a complex of the important agronomic traits that determine grain yield, is a primary target of artificial selection of rice domestication and improvement. Some important genes affecting plant architecture and grain yield have been isolated and characterized in recent decades; however, their underlying mechanism remains to be elucidated. Here, we report genetic identification and functional analysis of the PLANT ARCHITECTURE AND YIELD 1 (PAY1) gene in rice, which affects plant architecture and grain yield in rice. Transgenic plants over-expressing PAY1 had twice the number of grains per panicle and consequently produced nearly 38% more grain yield per plant than control plants. Mechanistically, PAY1 could improve plant architecture via affecting polar auxin transport activity and altering endogenous indole-3-acetic acid distribution. Furthermore, introgression of PAY1 into elite rice cultivars, using marker-assisted background selection, dramatically increased grain yield compared with the recipient parents. Overall, these results demonstrated that PAY1 could be a new beneficial genetic resource for shaping ideal plant architecture and breeding high-yielding rice varieties.

Keywords: Oryza sativa; PAY1; grain yield; plant architecture; polar auxin transport; rice.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Phenotype of wild‐type (YIL55) and PAY1 mutant. (a) Introgression line YIL55 and the PAY1 mutant at maturity stage. (b) Main panicle of YIL55 and PAY1 mutant. Scale bar, 5 cm. (c) Stem structure of YIL55 and PAY1 mutant. The interval between two arrows showed the length of internode. (d) Longitudinal sections of the fifth internode (marked by white squares in (c)) between YIL55 and PAY1 mutant. Scale bars, 200 μm. (e) The diameter of the fifth internode between YIL55 and PAY1 mutant. Data are means ± standard deviation (SD) (= 20). (f) Comparison of plant height, number of panicles per plant, grain number per panicle and grain yield per plant between YIL55 and PAY1 mutant plants. Data are means ± SD (= 30). In (e) and (f), the double asterisks represent a significant difference determined by Student's t‐test at < 0.01.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Molecular identification of PAY1. (a) PAY1 was mapped in the interval of RM339 and RM223 on the long arm of chromosome 8. R is the number of recombinants. (b) PAY1 was delimited to a 51‐kb region between the sp5 and sp7 markers. (c) Annotation of the 51‐kb region harboring PAY1 on Nipponbare BAC AP004691. (d) PAY1 structure and the mutation site in PAY1 mutant. The white boxes represent the 5‐ and 3UTR, the black boxes represent the coding sequences and lines between boxes represent introns. The red asterisk indicates the PAY1 mutation site. (e) Gene structure of PAY1 and constructs used in PAY1 function investigation. pOE contains PAY1 ORF (mutation allele) used for overexpression; pRNAi denoted the RNA interference constructs. UBI is a maize Ubiquitin promoter. (f) The phenotype of control plant (CL3) harboring an empty plasmid and PAY1‐overexpression transgenic plant (pOE6). (g) Comparison of the main panicle between control plant (CL3) and PAY1‐overexpression transgenic plants (pOE6). Scale bar, 5 cm. (h) Relative expression levels of PAY1 in PAY1‐overexpression transgenic plants leaves (pOE6 and pOE8) using RTqPCR analysis. (i) Comparison of plant height, number of panicles per plant, diameter of main culm, number of grains per panicle and grain yield per plant between control plant (CL3) and PAY1‐overexpression transgenic plants (pOE6 and pOE8). Data are means ± standard deviation (SD) (= 30). (j) The phenotype of control plant (CL5) harboring an empty plasmid and RNAi transgenic plant (pRNAi2). (k) Comparison of the main panicle between control (CL5) and RNAi transgenic plants (pRNAi2). Scale bar, 5 cm. (l) Relative expression levels of PAY1 in RNAi transgenic plant leaves (pRNAi2 and pRNAi7). (m) Comparison of plant height, number of panicles per plant, diameter of main culm, number of grains per panicle and grain yield per plant between control (CL5) and RNAi transgenic plants (pRNAi2 and pRNAi7). Data are means ± SD (= 30). In (i) and (m), the double asterisks represent a significant difference determined by Student's t‐test at < 0.01.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Subcellular localization and expression pattern analysis of PAY1. (a) PAY1 subcellular localization. 35S::GFP (top) and 35S::PAY1–GFP fusion gene (bottom) were transiently expressed in tobacco epidermal cells. The PAY1–GFP fusion protein was exclusively expressed in the nucleus. Scale bars, 100 μm. (b) The relative expression levels of PAY1 in various organs. RT, root; TB, tiller base; L, leaf; LJ, lamina joint; LS, leaf sheath; LSP, leaf‐sheath pulvinus; C, culm; YP, young panicle; SH, spikelet hull; PB, panicle branch. (c–h) PAY1 expression patterns revealed by mRNA in situ hybridization. The top panels are sense probes as negative controls, and the bottom panels are antisense probes. (h) was enlarged from (g) marked by red square. Scale bars, 200 μm.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Comparison of auxin biosynthesis and transport between wild‐type (YIL55) and PAY1 plants. (a) Comparison of PAT between YIL55 and PAY1 mutant in dark‐grown coleoptiles. The acropetal auxin transport measurement was used as a negative control. Values are means ± standard deviation (SD) (= 5). (b) DR5::GUS expression patterns in dark‐grown coleoptiles and roots. Left, DR5::GUS within YIL55 background; right, DR5::GUS within PAY1 mutant background. The smaller square in the upper half of panels showed stem apexes of YIL55 and PAY1 plants, while the larger squares immediately next to it show an enlarged drawing, respectively. The panels below are cross‐sections of the root tips shown in panels above, respectively. Scale bars, 100 μm. (c) Comparison of auxin content in the tip of dark‐grown coleoptiles between YIL55 and PAY1 mutant. Coleoptile fragments 2 mm in length from the tip were used for detection. In (a) and (c), the double asterisks represent a significant difference determined by Student's t‐test at < 0.01.
Figure 5
Figure 5
Phenotype of Teqing (TQ) and TQPAY1‐ NIL plants. (a) Gross morphologies of TQ and TQPAY1‐ NIL plants at the maturity stage. (b) Stem structure of TQ (left) and TQPAY1‐ NIL (right) plants. The interval between two arrows showed the length of internode. (c) Comparison of the main panicle between TQ and TQPAY1‐ NIL plants. Scale bar, 5 cm. (d) Cross‐sections of the fifth internode between TQ and TQPAY1‐ NIL plants. Scale bars, 200 μm. (e) The diameter of the fifth internode between TQ and TQPAY1‐ NIL plants. Data are means ± standard deviation (SD) (= 20). (f–k) Comparison of plant height (f), number of panicles per plant (g), number of primary branches per main panicle (h), number of primary branches per main panicle (i), grain number per panicle (j) and grain yield per plant (k) between TQ and TQPAY1NIL plants. Data are means ± SD (= 30). **, Significant at 1% level; *, significant at 5% level; n.s., not significant.

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