Generation of stable 'low phytic acid' transgenic rice through antisense repression of the 1D-myo-inositol 3-phosphate synthase gene (RINO1) using the 18-kDa oleosin promoter

Mio Kuwano, Tetsuro Mimura, Fumio Takaiwa, Kaoru T Yoshida
Plant Biotechnology Journal 2009, 7 (1): 96-105
Phytic acid acts as the major storage form of phosphorus in plant seeds and is poorly digested by monogastric animals. The degradation of phytic acid in animal diets is necessary to overcome both environmental and nutritional issues. The enzyme 1D-myo-inositol 3-phosphate [Ins(3)P(1)] synthase (EC catalyses the first step of myo-inositol biosynthesis and directs phytic acid biosynthesis in seeds. The rice Ins(3)P(1) synthase gene (RINO1) is highly expressed in developing seed embryos and in the aleurone layer, where phytic acid is synthesized and stored. In rice seeds, 18-kDa oleosin (Ole18) is expressed in a seed-specific manner, and its transcripts are restricted to the embryo and the aleurone layer. Therefore, to effectively suppress phytic acid biosynthesis, antisense RINO1 cDNA was expressed under the control of the Ole18 promoter, directing the same spatial pattern in seeds as RINO1 in transgenic rice plants. The generated transgenic rice plants showed strong 'low phytic acid' (lpa) phenotypes, in which seed phytic acid was reduced by 68% and free available phosphate was concomitantly increased. No negative effects on seed weight, germination or plant growth were observed. The available phosphate levels of the stable transgenic plants surpassed those of currently available rice lpa mutants.

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