Constitutive expression of CaPLA1 conferred enhanced growth and grain yield in transgenic rice plants

Ki Youl Park, Eun Yu Kim, Young Sam Seo, Woo Taek Kim
Plant Molecular Biology 2016, 90 (4-5): 517-32
Phospholipids are not only important components of cell membranes, but participate in diverse processes in higher plants. In this study, we generated Capsicum annuum phospholipiase A1 (CaPLA1) overexpressing transgenic rice (Oryza sativa L.) plants under the control of the maize ubiquitin promoter. The T4 CaPLA1-overexpressing rice plants (Ubi:CaPLA1) had a higher root:shoot mass ratio than the wild-type plants in the vegetative stage. Leaf epidermal cells from transgenic plants had more cells than wild-type plants. Genes that code for cyclin and lipid metabolic enzymes were up-regulated in the transgenic lines. When grown under typical paddy field conditions, the transgenic plants produced more tillers, longer panicles and more branches per panicle than the wild-type plants, all of which resulted in greater grain yield. Microarray analysis suggests that gene expressions that are related with cell proliferation, lipid metabolism, and redox state were widely altered in CaPLA1-overexpressing transgenic rice plants. Ubi:CaPLA1 plants had a reduced membrane peroxidation state, as determined by malondialdehyde and conjugated diene levels and higher peroxidase activity than wild-type rice plants. Furthermore, three isoprenoid synthetic genes encoding terpenoid synthase, hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase were up-regulated in CaPLA1-overexpressing plants. We suggest that constitutive expression of CaPLA1 conferred increased grain yield with enhanced growth in transgenic rice plants by alteration of gene activities related with cell proliferation, lipid metabolism, membrane peroxidation state and isoprenoid biosynthesis.

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