Seeds are the unique propagules of gymnosperms and angiosperms, which are directly related to the racial continuation of species and are closely related to human food sources. Seeds are rich in storage materials, the main types include oil, protein and starch. Among them, seed protein is the most important source of protein in human food. In agricultural production, the content of seed protein is closely related to the yield and quality of crops. In addition, the content of seed protein is also related to the quality and longevity of seeds, which directly affects the preservation of seeds and the rate of seedling emergence in agriculture. Therefore, in-depth exploration of the key genes that affect seed protein content can not only enhance the understanding of the complex biological process of plant seed development, but also provide a theoretical basis for improving the relevant economic traits of crops.
Researcher Hou Xingliang, Research Center for Molecular Biology Analysis and Genetic Improvement, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Postdoctoral Researcher Hu Yilong and Master Zhou Limeng, based on the discovery of the molecular mechanism of gibberellin (GA) regulating seed embryo morphology and development (Hu et al., 2018, Nature Plants), further studied the role of GA in the accumulation of seed storage materials, and found that external application of GA reduced the accumulation of seed storage protein, while GA synthetic mutants showed increased seed storage protein content, indicating that GA participates in seeds Regulation of storage material accumulation. At the same time, the seed storage protein content of RGL3 (RGA LIKE-3), a member of the DELLA protein family, a negative regulator of GA signal, decreased after mutation, but increased in its overexpression transgenic plants. In-depth research found that RGL3 interacts directly with ABI3 (ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE 3), the key factor regulating seed storage protein accumulation, and acts as a transcriptional co-activator of ABI3 to promote the expression of genes related to seed storage protein synthesis, thereby promoting seed storage protein accumulation . It is worth mentioning that RGL3 homologous genes are widely present in the genomes of monocotyledonous plants, and some do not affect the normal growth and development of plants. This provides a favorable molecular target for high-protein precision breeding.
Related research results have been published online in the mainstream international botany journal Plant Physiology recently. The South China Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences is the co-first author of the paper, and researcher Hou Xingliang is the corresponding author. Related research is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, China Postdoctoral Science Foundation and other projects.
link to the paper:https://academic.oup.com/plphys/advance-article/doi/10.1093/plphys/kiaa114/6094631