Light Harvesting-like Protein 3 Interacts with Phytoene Synthase and Is Necessary for Carotenoid and Chlorophyll Biosynthesis in Rice

Feng Yang, Das Debatosh, Tao Song*, Jianhua ZHANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Carotenoid biosynthesis is essential for the generation of photosynthetic pigments, phytohormone production, and flower color development. The light harvesting like 3 (LIL3) protein, which belongs to the light-harvesting complex protein family in photosystems, interacts with geranylgeranyl reductase (GGR) and protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (POR) both of which are known to regulate terpenoid and chlorophyll biosynthesis, respectively, in both rice and Arabidopsis. Results: In our study, a CRISPR-Cas9 generated 4-bp deletion mutant oslil3 showed aberrant chloroplast development, growth defects, low fertility rates and reduced pigment contents. A comparative transcriptomic analysis of oslil3 suggested that differentially expressed genes (DEGs) involved in photosynthesis, cell wall modification, primary and secondary metabolism are differentially regulated in the mutant. Protein-protein interaction assays indicated that LIL3 interacts with phytoene synthase (PSY) and in addition the gene expression of PSY genes are regulated by LIL3. Subcellular localization of LIL3 and PSY suggested that both are thylakoid membrane anchored proteins in the chloroplast. We suggest that LIL3 directly interacts with PSY to regulate carotenoid biosynthesis. Conclusion: This study reveals a new role of LIL3 in regulating pigment biosynthesis through interaction with the rate limiting enzyme PSY in carotenoid biosynthesis in rice presenting it as a putative target for genetic manipulation of pigment biosynthesis pathways in crop plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
JournalRice
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Carotenoid
  • Cell-wall
  • Light-harvesting complex
  • Phytoene synthase
  • Protein-protein interaction
  • Transcriptome

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