Sucrose is produced in mesophyll cells and transferred into phloem cells before it is delivered long-distance to sink tissues. However, little is known about how sucrose transport is regulated in plants. Here, we identified a T-DNA insertional mutant of Oryza sativa DNA BINDING WITH ONE FINGER 11 (OsDOF11), which is expressed in the vascular cells of photosynthetic organs and in various sink tissues. The osdof11 mutant plants are semi-dwarf and have fewer tillers and smaller panicles as compared with wild-type (WT) plants. Although sucrose enhanced root elongation in young WT seedlings, this enhancement did not occur in osdof11 seedlings due to reduced sucrose uptake. Sugar transport rate analyses revealed that less sugar was transported in osdof11 plants than in the WT. Expression of four Sucrose Transporter (SUT) genes-OsSUT1, OsSUT3, OsSUT4, and OsSUT5-as well as two Sugars Will Eventually be Exported Transporters (SWEET) genes, OsSWEET11 and OsSWEET14, was altered in various organs of the mutant, including the leaves. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that OsDOF11 directly binds the promoter regions of SUT1, OsSWEET11, and OsSWEET14, indicating that the expression of these transporters responsible for sucrose transport via apoplastic loading is coordinately controlled by OsDOF11. We also observed that osdof11 mutant plants were less susceptible to infection by Xanthomonas oryzae pathovar oryzae, suggesting that OsDOF11 participates in sugar distribution during pathogenic invasion. Collectively, these results suggest that OsDOF11 modulates sugar transport by regulating the expression of both SUT and SWEET genes in rice.
Keywords: OsDOF11; SUT; SWEET; Xanthomonas oryzae; phloem loading; rice.
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