Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas9 Reveals Role of OsPLDα1 in Phytic Acid Biosynthesis in Rice Grains

October 10, 2019

Phosphorus-containing compounds such as phospholipids and phytic acid are vital in rice. Phytic acid is a major antinutrient, which decreases the bioavailability of essential micronutrients to humans and animals. In a study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, researchers used CRISPR-Cas9 to investigate the interplay of phospholipids and phytic acid in rice grains.

Mutants of a phospholipase D gene (OsPLDα1) were generated by the researchers using CRISPR-Cas9 and then they analyzed the mutational effect of phytic acid in rice grains. Profiling of the metabolites of the two ospldα1 mutants showed depletion in the phosphatidic acid production and lower accumulation of cytidine diphosphate diacylglycerol and phosphatidylinositol. Reduction of phytic acid content was also observed, together with the alteration in the expression of key genes in the phytic acid biosynthesis.

Results indicate that OsPLDα1 not only plays a vital function in phospholipid metabolism but also is involved in phytic acid production, most probably through the lipid-dependent pathway, revealing a new possible pathway to regulate phytic acid biosynthesis in rice.

Read the research article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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