Two ABCI Family Transporters, OsABCI15 and OsABCI16, are Involved in Grain-filling in Rice
Published:03 Dec.2023    Source:Journal of Genetics and Genomics
Seed development is critical for plant reproduction and crop yield, with panicle seed-setting rate, grain-filling, and grain weight being key seed characteristics for yield improvement. However, few genes are known to regulate grain-filling.
Here, we identify two ABCI-type transporter genes, OsABCI15 and OsABCI16, involved in rice grain-filling. Both genes are highly expressed in developing seeds, and their proteins are localized to the plasma membrane and cytosol. Interestingly, knockout of OsABCI15 and OsABCI16 results in a significant reduction in seed-setting rate, caused predominantly by the severe empty pericarp phenotype, which differs from the previously reported low seed-setting phenotype resulting from failed pollination. Further analysis indicates that OsABCI15 and OsABCI16 participate in ion homeostasis and likely export ions between filial tissues and maternal tissues during grain-filling.
Importantly, overexpression of OsABCI15 and OsABCI16 enhances seed-setting rate and grain yield in transgenic plants and decreases ion accumulation in brown rice. Moreover, the OsABCI15/16 orthologues in maize exhibit a similar role in kernel development, as demonstrated by their disruption in transgenic maize. Therefore, our findings reveal the important roles of two ABC transporters in cereal grain-filling, highlighting their value in crop yield improvement.