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Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein (Cas9)-mediated genome editing has become an important way for molecular breeding in crop plants. To promote rice breeding, we edited the Grain Size 3 (GS3) gene for obtaining valuable and stable long-grain rice mutants. Furthermore, isobaric tags for the relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based proteomic method were applied to determine the proteome-wide changes in the GS3 mutants compared with wild type (WT). Two target sites were designed to construct the vector, and the Agrobacterium-mediated method was used for rice transformation. Specific mutations were successfully introduced, and the grain length (GL) and 1000-grain weight (GWT) of the mutants were increased by 31.39% and 27.15%, respectively, compared with WT. The iTRAQ-based proteomic analysis revealed that a total of 31 proteins were differentially expressed in the GS3 mutants, including 20 up-regulated and 11 down-regulated proteins. Results showed that differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) were mainly related to cysteine synthase, cysteine proteinase inhibitor, vacuolar protein sorting-associated, ubiquitin, and DNA ligase. Furthermore, functional analysis revealed that DEPs were mostly enriched in cellular process, metabolic process, binding, transmembrane, structural, and catalytic activities. Pathway enrichment analysis revealed that DEPs were mainly involved in lipid metabolism and oxylipin biosynthesis. The protein-to-protein interaction (PPI) network found that proteins related to DNA damage-binding, ubiquitin-40S ribosomal, and cysteine proteinase inhibitor showed a higher degree of interaction. The homozygous mutant lines featured by stable inheritance and long-grain phenotype were obtained using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. This study provides a convenient and effective way of improving grain yield, which could significantly accelerate the breeding process of long-grain japonica parents and promote the development of high-yielding rice.


Babar Usman, Neng Zhao, Gul Nawaz, Baoxiang Qin, Fang Liu, Yaoguang Liu, Rongbai Li. CRISPR/Cas9 Guided Mutagenesis of Grain Size 3 Confers Increased Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Grain Length by Regulating Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitor and Ubiquitin-Related Proteins. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Mar 22;22(6)

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PMID: 33810044

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