Modern rice cultivars have large panicle but their yield potential is often not fully achieved due to poor grain-filling of late-flowering inferior spikelets (IS). Our earlier work suggested a broad transcriptional reprogramming during grain filling and showed a difference in gene expression between IS and earlier-flowering superior spikelets (SS). However, the links between the abundances of transcripts and their corresponding proteins are unclear. In this study, a SWATH-MS (sequential window acquisition of all theoretical spectra-mass spectrometry) -based quantitative proteomic analysis has been applied to investigate SS and IS proteomes. A total of 304 proteins of widely differing functionality were observed to be differentially expressed between IS and SS. Detailed gene ontology analysis indicated that several biological processes including photosynthesis, protein metabolism, and energy metabolism are differentially regulated. Further correlation analysis revealed that abundances of most of the differentially expressed proteins are not correlated to the respective transcript levels, indicating that an extra layer of gene regulation which may exist during rice grain filling. Our findings raised an intriguing possibility that these candidate proteins may be crucial in determining the poor grain-filling of IS. Therefore, we hypothesize that the regulation of proteome changes not only occurs at the transcriptional, but also at the post-transcriptional level, during grain filling in rice.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Plant Science
- Grain filling
- Post-transcriptional regulation
- SWATH-MS analysis