The iron-sulfur subunit (SDH2) of succinate dehydrogenase plays a key role in electron transport in plant mitochondria. However, it is yet unknown whether SDH2 genes are involved in leaf senescence and yield formation. In this study, we isolated a late premature senescence mutant, lps1, in rice (Oryza sativa). The mutant leaves exhibited brown spots at late tillering stage and wilted at the late grain-filling stage and mature stage. In its premature senescence leaves, photosynthetic pigment contents and net photosynthetic rate were reduced; chloroplasts and mitochondria were degraded. Meanwhile, lps1 displayed small panicles, low seed-setting rate and dramatically reduced grain yield. Gene cloning and complementation analysis suggested that the causal gene for the mutant phenotype was OsSDH2-1 (LOC_Os08g02640), in which single nucleotide mutation resulted in an amino acid substitution in the encoded protein. OsSDH2-1 gene was expressed in all organs tested, with higher expression in leaves, root tips, ovary and anthers. OsSDH2-1 protein was targeted to mitochondria. Furthermore, reactive oxygen species (ROS), mainly H2O2, was excessively accumulated in leaves and young panicles of lps1, which could cause premature leaf senescence and affect panicle development and pollen function. Taken together, OsSDH2-1 plays a crucial role in leaf senescence and yield formation in rice.
Keywords: Oryza sativa; ROS; grain yield; iron-sulfur subunit; late premature senescence; panicle development; succinate dehydrogenase.