Regulation of gene expression in the remobilization of carbon reserves in rice stems during grain filling

Guan Qun Wang, Shuai Shuai Hao, Bei Gao, Mo Xian Chen, Ying Gao Liu, Jian Chang Yang, Neng Hui Ye*, Jianhua Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon reserves in rice straw (stem and sheath) before flowering contribute to a significant portion of grain filling. However, the molecular mechanism of carbon reserve remobilization from straw to grains remains unclear. In this study, super rice LYP9 and conventional rice 9311 showed different carbon reserve remobilization behaviors. The transcriptomic profiles of straws of LYP9 and 9311 were analyzed at three stages of grain filling. Among the differentially expressed genes (DGs), 5,733 genes were uniquely up- or down-regulated at 30 days after anthesis (DAA) between LYP9 and 9311 in comparison with 681 at 10 DAA and 495 at 20 DAA, suggesting that the gene expression profile of LYP9 was very different from that of 9311 at the late stage of grain filling. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis and Gene Ontology (GO) classification of DGs both showed that the carbohydrate catabolic pathway, plant hormone signal transduction and photosynthesis pathway were enriched in DGs, suggesting their roles in carbon reserve remobilization, which explains to a certain extent the difference in non-structural carbohydrate content, photosynthesis and ABA content between the two cultivars during grain filling. Further comparative analysis and confirmation by quantitative real-time PCR and enzyme assays suggest that genes involved in trehalose synthesis (trehalose- phosphate phosphatase and trehalose 6-phosphate synthase/phosphatase), starch degradation (b-amylase) and sucrose synthesis (sucrose-phosphate synthase and sucrose synthase) were important for carbon reserve remobilization, whereas ABA content was determined by the counteraction of NCED1 and ABA8ox1 genes. The higher expression level of all these genes and ABA content in 9311 resulted in better efficiency of carbon reserve remobilization in 9311 than in LYP9.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1404
Number of pages14
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number8
Early online date29 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Abscisic acid
  • Carbon reserve
  • Grain filling
  • Oryza sativa
  • RNA sequencing
  • Source tissue


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