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    Genome-wide identification, spatio-temporal expression analysis and functional characterization of selected Brassica napus GPATs highlight their roles in cuticular wax biosynthesis and defense against fungal pathogens. Glycerol-3-phosphate 1-O-acyltransferase (GPAT) is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of glycerolipids, a major component of cellular membranes and extracellular protective layers, such as cuticles in plants. Brassica napus is an economically important crop and cultivated worldwide mostly for its edible oil. The B. napus GPATs (BnGPATs) are insufficiently characterized. Here, we performed genome-wide analysis to identify putative GPATs in B. napus and its diploid progenitors B. rapa and B oleracea. The 32 B. napus BnGPATs are phylogenetically divided into three major groups, cutin, suberin, and diverse ancient groups. Analysis of transcriptomes of different tissues and seeds at different developmental stages revealed the spatial and temporal expression profiles of BnGPATs. The yield and oil quality of B. napus are adversely affected by the necrotrophic fungus, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. We showed that several BnGPATs, including cutin-related BnGPAT19 and 21, were upregulated in the S. sclerotiorum resistant line. RNAi-mediated suppression of BnGPAT19 and 21 in B. napus resulted in thinner cuticle, leading to rapid water and chlorophyll loss in toluidine blue staining and leaf bleaching assays. In addition, the RNAi plants also developed severe necrotic lesions following fungal inoculation compared to the wild-type plants, indicating that BnGPAT19 and 21 are likely involved in cuticular wax biosynthesis that is critical for initial pathogen defense. Taken together, we provided a comprehensive account of GPATs B. napus and characterized BnGPAT19 and 21 for their potential roles in cuticular wax biosynthesis and defense against fungal pathogens.


    Jingxue Wang, Sanjay Kumar Singh, Siyu Geng, Shanshan Zhang, Ling Yuan. Genome-wide analysis of glycerol-3-phosphate O-acyltransferase gene family and functional characterization of two cutin group GPATs in Brassica napus. Planta. 2020 Apr 03;251(4):93

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    PMID: 32246349

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