OsSLA4 Plays a Role in Chloroplast Development in Rice

In land plants, chloroplast transcripts undergo post-transcriptional modifications, including splicing, editing, trimming, before translation. This essential step is regulated by a set of nuclear-encoded proteins. Zhong-wei Wang from the China National Rice Research Institute characterized a rice (Oryza sativa) seedling-lethal albino mutant, sla4.

The sla4 mutant exhibited an albino phenotype from germination through the third-leaf stage, and then gradually died. The sla4 mutants also lacked photosynthetic pigments and had severe defects in photosynthesis and early chloroplast development. Analysis showed that a 13-base pair deletion in the coding region of OsSLA4 on chromosome 7 resulted in the albino phenotype. The albino mutants were also generated by knocking-out OsSLA4 using the CRISPR-Cas9 system. OsSLA4 was found to encode a chloroplast-localized pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) protein.

Loss-of-function of OsSLA4 resulted in severe defects in the intron splicing of several genes as well as a significant reduction in the transcript levels of chloroplast ribosomal RNAs and some chloroplast development- and photosynthesis-related genes.

These results indicate that OsSLA4 is important for early chloroplast development and seedling growth in rice.

For more information, read the article in Plant Growth Regulation.


 

This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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