Overexpression of rice gene OsATG8b confers tolerance to nitrogen starvation and increases yield and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in Arabidopsis

Autoři: Xiaoxi Zhen aff001;  Fan Xu aff001;  Wenzhong Zhang aff001;  Nan Li aff002;  Xin Li aff001
Působiště autorů: Rice Research Institute of Shenyang Agricultural University, Key Laboratory of Northern Japonica Rice Genetics and Breeding, Ministry of Education and Liaoning Province, Key Laboratory of Northeast Rice Biology and Genetics and Breeding, Ministry of Agric aff001;  Shen Yang Product Quality Supervision and Inspection Institute, Shenyang, China aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(9)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223011


Nitrogen (N) is an important element required for plant growth and development, which also affects plant yield and quality. Autophagy, a conserved pathway in eukaryotes, degrades and recycles cellular components, thus playing an important role in N remobilization. However, only a few autophagy genes related to N remobilization in rice (Oryza sativa) have been reported. Here, we identified a core autophagy gene in rice, OsATG8b, with increased expression levels under N starvation conditions. It was investigated the function of OsATG8b by generating three independent homozygous 35S-OsATG8b transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana lines. The overexpression of OsATG8b significantly enhanced autophagic flux in the transgenic Arabidopsis plants. It was also showed that over-expressing OsATG8b promoted growth and development of Arabidopsis, in which the rosette leaves were larger than those of the wild type (WT), and the yield increased significantly by 25.25%. In addition, the transgenic lines accumulated more N in seeds than in the rosette leaves. Further examination revealed that overexpression of OsATG8b could effectively alleviate the growth inhibition of transgenic Arabidopsis under nitrogen (N) stress. N partitioning studies revealed that nitrogen-harvest index (NHI) and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) were significantly increased in the transgenic Arabidopsis, as well as the 15N-tracer experiments revealing that the remobilization of N to seeds in the OsATG8b-overexpressing transgenic Arabidopsis was high and more than WT. Based on our findings, we consider OsATG8b to be a great candidate gene to increase NUE and yield, especially under suboptimal field conditions.

Klíčová slova:

Arabidopsis thaliana – Autophagic cell death – Genetically modified plants – Hyperexpression techniques – Leaves – Rice – Seedlings – Seeds


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