A Rice Glutamyl-tRNA Synthetase Modulates Early Anther Cell Division and Patterning

Plant Physiol. 2018 Jun;177(2):728-744. doi: 10.1104/pp.18.00110. Epub 2018 May 2.


Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) have housekeeping roles in protein synthesis, but little is known about how these aaRSs are involved in organ development. Here, we report that a rice (Oryza sativa) glutamyl-tRNA synthetase (OsERS1) maintains proper somatic cell organization and limits the overproliferation of male germ cells during early anther development. The expression of OsERS1 is specifically detectable in meristematic layer 2-derived cells of the early anther, and osers1 anthers exhibit overproliferation and disorganization of layer 2-derived cells, producing fused lobes and extra germ cells in early anthers. The conserved biochemical function of OsERS1 in ligating glutamate to tRNAGlu is enhanced by its cofactor aaRS OsARC. Furthermore, metabolomics profiling revealed that OsERS1 is an important node for multiple metabolic pathways, indicated by the accumulation of amino acids and tricarboxylic acid cycle components in osers1 anthers. Notably, the anther defects of the osers1 mutant are causally associated with the abnormal accumulation of hydrogen peroxide, which can reconstitute the osers1 phenotype when applied to wild-type anthers. Collectively, these findings demonstrate how aaRSs affect male organ development in plants, likely through protein synthesis, metabolic homeostasis, and redox status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division
  • Flowers / cytology*
  • Flowers / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Glutamate-tRNA Ligase / genetics
  • Glutamate-tRNA Ligase / metabolism*
  • Glutamic Acid / metabolism
  • Meristem / cytology
  • Meristem / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Oryza / cytology
  • Oryza / physiology*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified


  • Plant Proteins
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Glutamate-tRNA Ligase