Main content area

Rice tocopherol deficiency 1 encodes a homogentisate phytyltransferase essential for tocopherol biosynthesis and plant development in rice

Zhang, Yunhui, Liu, Kai, Zhu, Xiaomei, Wu, Yan, Zhang, Suobing, Chen, Haiyuan, Ling, Jing, Wang, Yingjie, Fang, Xianwen
Plant cell reports 2018 v.37 no.5 pp. 775-787
agronomic traits, animals, antioxidants, artificial membranes, biosynthesis, chloroplasts, cold tolerance, gene expression regulation, genes, gibberellins, growth retardation, molecular cloning, mutants, plant development, rice, tissues, tocopherols, transcription (genetics), transferases
KEY MESSAGE: RTD1 encodes a homogentisate phytyltransferase catalyzing a key step in rice tocopherol biosynthesis, confers cold tolerance and regulates rice development by affecting the accumulation of DELLA protein SLENDER RICE1. Tocopherols are one of the most important lipid-soluble antioxidants having indispensable roles in living organisms. The physiological functions of tocopherols have been comprehensively characterized in animals and artificial membranes. However, genetic and molecular functions of tocopherols in plants are less understood. This study aimed to isolate a tocopherol-deficient mutant rtd1 in rice. The rtd1 mutant showed overall growth retardation throughout the growth period. Most of the agronomic traits were impaired in rtd1. Map-based cloning revealed that the RTD1 gene encoded a homogentisate phytyltransferase, a key enzyme catalyzing the committed step in tocopherol biosynthesis. RTD1 was preferentially expressed in green leafy tissues, and the protein was located in chloroplasts. Cold tolerance was found to be reduced in rtd1. The cold-related C-repeat-binding factor (CBF)/dehydration-responsive element-binding protein 1 (DREB1) genes were significantly upregulated in rtd1 under natural growth conditions. Moreover, rtd1 exhibited a reduced response to gibberellin (GA).The transcript and protein levels of DELLA protein-coding gene SLENDER RICE 1 (SLR1) in rice was increased in rtd1. However, the GA content was not changed, suggesting a transcriptional, not posttranslational, regulation of SLR1. These findings implied that tocopherols play important roles in regulating rice growth and development.