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Plant Biotechnol J. 2016 Aug;14(8):1661-72. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12527. Epub 2016 Jan 25.

Down-regulation of OsSPX1 caused semi-male sterility, resulting in reduction of grain yield in rice.

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State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.


OsSPX1, a rice SPX domain gene, involved in the phosphate (Pi)-sensing mechanism plays an essential role in the Pi-signalling network through interaction with OsPHR2. In this study, we focused on the potential function of OsSPX1 during rice reproductive phase. Based on investigation of OsSPX1 antisense and sense transgenic rice lines in the paddy fields, we discovered that the down-regulation of OsSPX1 caused reduction of seed-setting rate and filled grain number. Through examination of anthers and pollens of the transgenic and wild-type plants by microscopy, we found that the antisense of OsSPX1 gene led to semi-male sterility, with lacking of mature pollen grains and phenotypes with a disordered surface of anthers and pollens. We further conducted rice whole-genome GeneChip analysis to elucidate the possible molecular mechanism underlying why the down-regulation of OsSPX1 caused deficiencies in anthers and pollens and lower seed-setting rate in rice. The down-regulation of OsSPX1 significantly affected expression of genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and sugar transport, anther development, cell cycle, etc. These genes may be related to pollen fertility and male gametophyte development. Our study demonstrated that down-regulation of OsSPX1 disrupted rice normal anther and pollen development by affecting carbohydrate metabolism and sugar transport, leading to semi-male sterility, and ultimately resulted in low seed-setting rate and grain yield.


OsSPX1; expression profiling; grain yield; pollen fertility; rice

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