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Starch accounts for over 80% of the total dry weight in cereal endosperm and determines the kernel texture and nutritional quality. Amyloplasts, terminally differentiated plastids, are responsible for starch biosynthesis and storage. We screened a series of rice mutants with floury endosperm to clarify the mechanism underlying amyloplast development and starch synthesis. We identified the floury endosperm19 (flo19) mutant which shows opaque of the interior endosperm. Abnormal compound starch grains (SGs) were present in the endosperm cells of the mutant. Molecular cloning revealed that the FLO19 allele encodes a plastid-localized pyruvate dehydrogenase complex E1 component subunit α1 (ptPDC-E1-α1) that is expressed in all rice tissues. In vivo enzyme assays demonstrated that the flo19 mutant showed decreased activity of the plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. In addition, the amounts of monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) were much lower in the developing flo19 mutant endosperm, suggesting that FLO19 participates in fatty acid supply for galactolipid biosynthesis in amyloplasts. FLO19 overexpression significantly increased seed size and weight, but did not affect other important agronomic traits, such as panicle length, tiller number and seed setting rate. An analysis of single nucleotide polymorphism data from a panel of rice accessions identified that the pFLO19L haplotype was positively associated with grain length, implying a potential application in rice breeding. In summary, our study demonstrates that FLO19 is involved in galactolipid biosynthesis which is essential for amyloplast development and starch biosynthesis in rice. © 2021 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Jie Lei, Xuan Teng, Yongfei Wang, Xiaokang Jiang, Huanhuan Zhao, Xiaoming Zheng, Yulong Ren, Hui Dong, Yunlong Wang, Erchao Duan, Yuanyan Zhang, Wenwei Zhang, Hang Yang, Xiaoli Chen, Rongbo Chen, Yu Zhang, Mingzhou Yu, Shanbin Xu, Xiuhao Bao, Pengcheng Zhang, Shijia Liu, Xi Liu, Yunlu Tian, Ling Jiang, Yihua Wang, Jianmin Wan. Plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase complex E1 component subunit Alpha1 is involved in galactolipid biosynthesis required for amyloplast development in rice. Plant biotechnology journal. 2022 Mar;20(3):437-453

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PMID: 34655511

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