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    In cereal crops, starch synthesis and storage depend mainly on a specialized class of plastids, termed amyloplasts. Despite the importance of starch, the molecular machinery regulating starch synthesis and amyloplast development remains largely unknown. Here, we report the characterization of the rice (Oryza sativa) floury endosperm7 (flo7) mutant, which develops a floury-white endosperm only in the periphery and not in the inner portion. Consistent with the phenotypic alternation in flo7 endosperm, the flo7 mutant had reduced amylose content and seriously disrupted amylopectin structure only in the peripheral endosperm. Notably, flo7 peripheral endosperm cells showed obvious defects in compound starch grain development. Map-based cloning of FLO7 revealed that it encodes a protein of unknown function. FLO7 harbors an N-terminal transit peptide capable of targeting functional FLO7 fused to green fluorescent protein to amyloplast stroma in developing endosperm cells, and a domain of unknown function 1338 (DUF1338) that is highly conserved in green plants. Furthermore, our combined β-glucuronidase activity and RNA in situ hybridization assays showed that the FLO7 gene was expressed ubiquitously but exhibited a specific expression in the endosperm periphery. Moreover, a set of in vivo experiments demonstrated that the missing 32 aa in the flo7 mutant protein are essential for the stable accumulation of FLO7 in the endosperm. Together, our findings identify FLO7 as a unique plant regulator required for starch synthesis and amyloplast development within the peripheral endosperm and provide new insights into the spatial regulation of endosperm development in rice. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.


    Long Zhang, Yulong Ren, Bingyue Lu, Chunyan Yang, Zhiming Feng, Zhou Liu, Jun Chen, Weiwei Ma, Ying Wang, Xiaowen Yu, Yunlong Wang, Wenwei Zhang, Yihua Wang, Shijia Liu, Fuqing Wu, Xin Zhang, Xiuping Guo, Yiqun Bao, Ling Jiang, Jianmin Wan. FLOURY ENDOSPERM7 encodes a regulator of starch synthesis and amyloplast development essential for peripheral endosperm development in rice. Journal of experimental botany. 2016 Feb;67(3):633-47

    PMID: 26608643

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