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WRINKLED1 homologs highly and functionally express in oil-rich endosperms of oat and castor

Yang, Zheng, Liu, Xiangling, Li, Na, Du, Chang, Wang, Kai, Zhao, Cuizhu, Wang, Zhonghua, Hu, Yingang, Zhang, Meng
Plant science 2019 v.287 pp. 110193
Arabidopsis, phenotype, gene overexpression, fatty acid composition, oats, Ricinus communis, wheat, lipids, oils, endosperm, Triticum aestivum, Avena sativa, genes, mutants, transcriptome, gene expression regulation, tobacco
Oat (Avena sativa) and castor (Ricinus communis) accumulate a large amount of lipids in their endosperms, however the molecular mechanism remains unknown. In this study, differences in oil regulators between oat and wheat (Triticum aestivum) as well as common features between oat and castor were tested by analyzing their transcriptomes with further q-PCR analysis. Results indicated that WRINKLED1 (WRI1) homologs and their target genes highly expressed in the endosperms of oat and castor, but not in the starchy endosperms of wheat. Expression pattern of WRI1s was in agreement with that of oil accumulation. Three AsWRI1s (AsWRI1a, AsWRI1b and AsWRI1c) and one RcWRI1 were identified in the endosperms of oat and castor, respectively. AsWRI1c lacks VYL motif, which is different from the other three WRI1s. Expressions of these four WRI1s all complemented the phenotypes of Arabidopsis wri1-1 mutant. Overexpression of these WRI1s in Arabidopsis and tobacco BY2 cells increased oil contents of seeds and total fatty acids of the cells, respectively. Moreover, this overexpression also resulted in up-regulations of WRI1 target genes, such as PKp-β1. Taken together, our results suggest that high and functional expression of WRI1 play a key role in the oil-rich endosperms and the VYL motif is dispensable for WRI1 function.