Main content area

EMP18 functions in mitochondrial atp6 and cox2 transcript editing and is essential to seed development in maize

Li, Xiu‐Lan, Huang, Wen‐Long, Yang, Huan‐Huan, Jiang, Rui‐Cheng, Sun, Feng, Wang, Hong‐Chun, Zhao, Jiao, Xu, Chun‐Hui, Tan, Bao‐Cai
Thenew phytologist 2019 v.221 no.2 pp. 896-907
H-transporting ATP synthase, RNA editing, Zea mays, biogenesis, corn, cytidine, death, endosperm, enzyme activity, family size, gene expression, genes, growth and development, loss-of-function mutation, mitochondria, mutants, plant growth, proteins, seed development
RNA editing plays an important role in organellar gene expression in plants, and pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins are involved in this function. Because of its large family size, many PPR proteins are not known for their function and roles in plant growth and development. Through genetic and molecular analyses of the empty pericarp18 (emp18) mutant in maize (Zea mays), we cloned the Emp18 gene, revealed its molecular function, and defined its role in the mitochondrial complex assembly and seed development. Emp18 encodes a mitochondrial‐localized DYW‐PPR protein. Null mutation of Emp18 arrests embryo and endosperm development at an early stage in maize, resulting in embryo lethality. Mutants are deficient in the cytidine (C)‐to‐uridine (U) editing at atp6‐635 and cox2‐449, which converts a Leu to Pro in ATP6 and a Met to Thr in Cox2. The atp6 gene encodes the subunit a of F₁Fₒ‐ATPase. The Leu to Pro alteration disrupts an α‐helix of subunit a, resulting in a dramatic reduction in assembly and activity of F₁Fₒ‐ATPase holoenzyme and an accumulation of free F₁‐subcomplex. These results demonstrate that EMP18 functions in the C‐to‐U editing of atp6 and cox2, and is essential to mitochondrial biogenesis and seed development in maize.