Plant immunity often penalizes growth and yield. The transcription factor Ideal Plant Architecture 1 (IPA1) reduces unproductive tillers and increases grains per panicle, which results in improved rice yield. Here we report that higher IPA1 levels enhance immunity. Mechanistically, phosphorylation of IPA1 at amino acid Ser within its DNA binding domain occurs in response to infection by the fungus and alters the DNA binding specificity of IPA1. Phosphorylated IPA1 binds to the promoter of the pathogen defense gene and activates its expression, leading to enhanced disease resistance. IPA1 returns to a nonphosphorylated state within 48 hours after infection, resuming support of the growth needed for high yield. Thus, IPA1 promotes both yield and disease resistance by sustaining a balance between growth and immunity.
Mercury is a global pollutant that can transform into methylmercury, a highly toxic and bioaccumulative organic form. Previous surveys have shown that fish is the main source of human methylmercury exposure, whereas most other food products have an average value below 20 microg/kg and primarily in the inorganic form. This paper reports that methylmercury in rice (Oryza sativa L.) grown at abandoned mercury mining areas contained levels >100 microg/kg in its edible portion and proved to be 10-100 times higher than other crop plants. The daily adult intake of methylmercury through rice consumption causes abnormally high methylmercury exposure to humans. The results demonstrate that rice is a methylmercury bioaccumulative plant and the main methylmercury source for human exposure in the areas studied.
Plants belonging to the Liliaceae family have been the topic of research in many phytochemical and pharmacological laboratories because they contain structurally complex and biologically fascinating steroidal alkaloids. This review, citing 153 references, summarises the chemistry, bioactivity and geographical diversity of steroidal alkaloids isolated from Veratrum and Fritillaria species, so as to illustrate the chemo-diversity and biological significance of these alkaloids, along with their geographical distribution where this is discernible.
BackgroundMale fertility is crucial for rice yield, and the improvement of rice yield requires hybrid production that depends on male sterile lines. Although recent studies have revealed several important genes in male reproductive development, our understanding of the mechanisms of rice pollen development remains unclear.ResultsWe identified a rice mutant oslap6 with complete male sterile phenotype caused by defects in pollen exine formation. By using the MutMap method, we found that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variation located in the second exon of OsLAP6/OsPKS1 was responsible for the mutant phenotype. OsLAP6/OsPKS1 is an orthologous gene of Arabidopsis PKSA/LAP6, which functions in sporopollenin metabolism. Several other loss-of-function mutants of OsLAP6/OsPKS1 generated by the CRISPR/Cas9 genomic editing tool also exhibited the same phenotype of male sterility. Our cellular analysis suggested that OsLAP6/OsPKS1 might regulate pollen exine formation by affecting bacula elongation. Expression examination indicated that OsLAP6/OsPKS1 is specifically expressed in tapetum, and its product is localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Protein sequence analysis indicated that OsLAP6/OsPKS1 is conserved in land plants.Conclusions
OsLAP6/OsPKS1 is a critical molecular switch for rice male fertility by participating in a conserved sporopollenin precursor biosynthetic pathway in land plants. Manipulation of OsLAP6/OsPKS1 has potential for application in hybrid rice breeding.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (doi: 10.1186/s12284-017-0191-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Grain number, panicle seed setting rate, panicle number and grain weight are the most important components of rice grain yield. To date, several genes related to grain weight, grain number and panicle number have been described in rice. However, no genes regulating the panicle seed setting rate have been functionally characterized. Here we show that the domestication-related POLLEN TUBE BLOCKED 1 (PTB1), a RING-type E3 ubiquitin ligase, positively regulates the rice panicle seed setting rate by promoting pollen tube growth. The natural variation in expression of PTB1 which is affected by the promoter haplotype and the environmental temperature, correlates with the rice panicle seed setting rate. Our results support the hypothesis that PTB1 is an important maternal sporophytic factor of pollen tube growth and a key modulator of the rice panicle seed setting rate. This finding has implications for the improvement of rice yield.
OsPKS2, the rice orthologous gene of Arabidopsis PKSB/LAP5, encodes a polyketide synthase that is involved in pollen wall formation in rice. In flowering plants, the pollen wall protects male gametes from various environmental stresses and pathogen attacks, as well as promotes pollen germination. The biosynthesis of sporopollenin in tapetal cell is critical for pollen wall formation. Recently, progress has been made in understanding sporopollenin metabolism during pollen wall development in Arabidopsis. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism that underlies the sporopollenin synthesis in pollen wall formation in rice (Oryza sativa). In this study, we identified that a point mutation in OsPKS2, a plant-specific type III polyketide synthase gene, caused male sterility in rice by affecting the normal progress of pollen wall formation. Two other allelic mutants of OsPKS2 were generated using the CRISPR/Cas9 system and are also completely male sterile. This result thus further confirmed that OsPKS2 controls rice male fertility. We also showed that OsPKS2 is an orthologous gene of Arabidopsis PKSB/LAP5 and has a tapetum-specific expression pattern. In addition, its product localizes in the endoplasmic reticulum. Results suggested that OsPKS2 is critical for pollen wall formation, and plays a conserved but differentiated role in sporopollenin biosynthesis from Arabidopsis.
Vaccinia virus (VV) infection is known to inhibit dendritic cells (DC) functions in vitro.Paradoxically, VV is also highly immunogenic and thus has been used as a vaccine. In the present study, we investigated the effects of an in vivo VV infection on DC function by focusing on early innate immunity. Our data indicated that DC are activated upon in vivo VV infection of mice. Splenic DC from VV-infected mice expressed elevated levels of MHC class I and co-stimulatory molecules on their cell surface and exhibited the enhanced potential to produce cytokines upon LPS stimulation. DC from VV-infected mice also expressed a high level of interferon-β. However, a VV infection resulted in the down-regulation of MHC class II expression and the impairment of antigen presentation to CD4 T cells by DC. Thus, during the early stage of a VV infection, although DC are impaired in some of the critical antigen presentation functions, they can promote innate immune defenses against viral infection.
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