bims-plasge Biomed News
on Plastid genes
Issue of 2019‒06‒09
one paper selected by
Vera S. Bogdanova
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  1. Plant Physiol. 2019 Jun 03. pii: pp.00328.2019. [Epub ahead of print]
    Chen X, Tian X, Xue L, Zhang X, Yang S, Traw MB, Huang J.
      Gibberellin functions as an essential natural regulator of growth and development in plants. For each step of the gibberellin metabolic pathway, different copy numbers can be found in different species, as is the case with the 13 genes across four enzymatic steps in rice (Oryza sativa). A common view is that such gene duplication creates homologs that buffer organisms against loss of function (LOF) mutations. Therefore, knockouts of any single homolog might be expected to have little effect. To test this question, we generated CRISPR/Cas9 knockouts for these homologs and measured effects on growth and reproduction. Surprisingly, we report here that there is consistently one or more essential gene at each enzymatic step, for which LOF mutation induces death or sterility, suggesting that the gibberellin pathway does not have a redundancy route, each gene family is essential for GA metabolism. In most of these genes from the same gene family, we observed defects in plant height and infertility, suggesting that the duplicated members retain functions related to gibberellin (GA) synthesis or degradation. We identified both subfunctionalization of the three recently diversified homologs OsKO1, OsKO2 and OsKO5 and neofunctionalization in OsKO3 and OsKO4. Thus, while the function of each step is conserved, the evolution of duplicates in that step is diversified. Interestingly, the CRISPR/Cas9 lines at the SD1 locus were typically sterile, whereas the natural sd1 mutants, related to the "Green Revolution" in rice, show normal setting rates. Collectively, our results identify candidates for control of gibberellin production and provide insight into the evolution of four critical gene families in plants.