Small Peptide Signaling Via OsCIF1/2 Mediates Casparian Strip Formation at the Root Endodermal and Non-endodermal Cell Layers in Rice
Published:31 Oct.2023    Source:The Plant Cell

The Casparian strip (CS) is a ring-like lignin structure deposited between endodermal cells that forms an apoplastic barrier to control the selective uptake of nutrients in vascular plants. However, the molecular mechanism of CS formation in rice (Oryza sativa), which possesses one CS each in the endodermis and exodermis, is relatively unknown.

Here, we functionally characterized CS INTEGRITY FACTOR1 (OsCIF1a, OsCIF1b), OsCIF2, and SCHENGEN3 (OsSGN3a, OsSGN3b) in rice. OsCIF1s and OsCIF2 were mainly expressed in the stele, while OsSGN3s localized around the CS at the endodermis. Knockout of all three OsCIFs or both OsSGN3s resulted in a discontinuous CS and a dramatic reduction in compensatory (less localized) lignification and suberization at the endodermis. By contrast, ectopic overexpression of OsCIF1 or OsCIF2 induced CS formation as well as over-lignification and over-suberization at single or double cortical cell layers adjacent to the endodermis. Ectopic co-overexpression of OsCIF1 and SHORTROOT1 (OsSHR1) induced the formation of more CS-like structures at multiple cortical cell layers.

Transcriptome analysis identified 112 downstream genes modulated by the OsCIF1/2–OsSGN3 signaling pathway, which is involved in CS formation and activation of the compensatory machinery in native endodermis and non-native endodermis-like cell layers. Our results provide important insights into the molecular mechanism of CIF-mediated CS formation at the root endodermal and non-endodermal cell layers.