Identification and characterization of the rice pre-harvest sprouting mutants involved in molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis

New Phytol. 2019 Apr;222(1):275-285. doi: 10.1111/nph.15607. Epub 2018 Dec 18.


In cereal crops, ABA deficiency during seed maturation phase causes pre-harvest sprouting (PHS), and molybdenum cofactor (MoCo) is required for ABA biosynthesis. Here, two rice PHS mutants F254 and F5-1 were characterized. In addition to the PHS, these mutants showed pleiotropic phenotypes such as twisting and slender leaves, and then died when the seedling developed to four or five leaves. Map-based cloning showed that OsCNX6 and OsCNX1 encoding homologs of MoaE and MoeA were responsible for F254 and F5-1 mutants, respectively. Genetic complementation indicated that OsCNX6 not only rescued the PHS and seedling lethal phenotype of the cnx6 mutant, but also recovered the MoCo-dependent enzyme activities such as xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH), aldehyde oxidase (AO), nitrate reductase (NR) and sulfite oxidase (SO). Expression pattern showed that OsCNX6 was richly expressed in seed during embryo maturation by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR and RNA in situ hybridization. Furthermore, the OsCNX6 overexpression plants can significantly enhance the MoCo-dependent enzyme activities, and improved the osmotic and salt stress tolerance without unfavorable phenotypes. Collectively, these data indicated that OsCNX6 participated in MoCo biosynthesis, and is essential for rice development, especially for seed dormancy and germination, and OsCNX6 could be an effective target for improving abiotic stress tolerance in rice.

Keywords: Oryza sativa; MoCo-dependent enzyme; abiotic stress tolerance; cofactor for nitrate reductase and xanthine dehydrogenase (CNX); molybdenum cofactor (MoCo); pre-harvest sprouting (PHS).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Biosynthetic Pathways*
  • Coenzymes / biosynthesis*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Metalloproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Molybdenum Cofactors
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Oryza / growth & development*
  • Oryza / physiology
  • Osmosis
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Pteridines
  • Salt Stress / genetics
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics


  • Coenzymes
  • Metalloproteins
  • Molybdenum Cofactors
  • Plant Proteins
  • Pteridines
  • molybdenum cofactor