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KNOX Protein OSH15 Induces Grain Shattering by Repressing Lignin Biosynthesis Genes1
- Seed shattering is an agronomically important trait. Two major domestication factors are responsible for this: qSH1 and SH5. Whereas qSH1 functions in cell differentiation in the abscission zone (AZ), a major role of SH5 is the repression of lignin deposition. We have determined that a KNOX protein, OSH15, also controls seed shattering. Knockdown mutations of OSH15 showed reduced seed-shattering phenotypes. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments revealed that OSH15 interacts with SH5 and qSH1, two proteins in the BELL homeobox family. In transgenic plants carrying the OSH15 promoter-GUS reporter construct, the reporter gene was preferentially expressed in the AZ during young spikelet development. The RNA in situ hybridization experiment also showed that OSH15 messenger RNAs were abundant in the AZ during spikelet development. Analyses of osh15 SH5-D double mutants showed that SH5 could not increase the degree of seed shattering when OSH15 was absent, indicating that SH5 functions together with OSH15. In addition to the seedshattering phenotype, osh15 mutants displayed dwarfism and accumulated a higher amount of lignin in internodes due to increased expression of the genes involved in lignin biosynthesis. Knockout mutations of CAD2, which encodes an enzyme for the last step in the monolignol biosynthesis pathway, caused an easy seed-shattering phenotype by reducing lignin deposition in the AZ. This indicated that the lignin level is an important determinant of seed shattering in rice (Oryza sativa). Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that both OSH15 and SH5 interact directly with CAD2 chromatin. We conclude that OSH15 and SH5 form a dimer that enhances seed shattering by directly inhibiting lignin biosynthesis genes.
Htet Wai Antt
- Plant Physiology