miR1432-OsACOT (Acyl-CoA thioesterase) module determines grain yield via enhancing grain filling rate in rice

Plant Biotechnol J. 2019 Apr;17(4):712-723. doi: 10.1111/pbi.13009. Epub 2018 Oct 8.


Rice grain filling rate contributes largely to grain productivity and accumulation of nutrients. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators of development and physiology in plants and become a novel key target for engineering grain size and crop yield. However, there is little studies, so far, showing the miRNA regulation of grain filling and rice yield, in consequence. Here, we show that suppressed expression of rice miR1432 (STTM1432) significantly improves grain weight by enhancing grain filling rate and leads to an increase in overall grain yield up to 17.14% in a field trial. Molecular analysis identified rice Acyl-CoA thioesterase (OsACOT), which is conserved with ACOT13 in other species, as a major target of miR1432 by cleavage. Moreover, overexpression of miR1432-resistant form of OsACOT (OXmACOT) resembled the STTM1432 plants, that is, a large margin of an increase in grain weight up to 46.69% through improving the grain filling rate. Further study indicated that OsACOT was involved in biosynthesis of medium-chain fatty acids. In addition, RNA-seq based transcriptomic analyses of transgenic plants with altered expression of miR1432 demonstrated that downstream genes of miR1432-regulated network are involved in fatty acid metabolism and phytohormones biosynthesis and also overlap with the enrichment analysis of co-expressed genes of OsACOT, which is consistent with the increased levels of auxin and abscisic acid in STTM1432 and OXmACOT plants. Overall, miR1432-OsACOT module plays an important role in grain filling in rice, illustrating its capacity for engineering yield improvement in crops.

Keywords: OsACOT; grain filling; grain size; miR1432; rice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / metabolism
  • Crops, Agricultural
  • Edible Grain / enzymology
  • Edible Grain / genetics
  • Edible Grain / growth & development
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics*
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Oryza / enzymology
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Oryza / growth & development
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • Seeds / enzymology
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / growth & development
  • Thiolester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Thiolester Hydrolases / metabolism


  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • MicroRNAs
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA, Plant
  • Abscisic Acid
  • Thiolester Hydrolases