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Prof. Yue-Qin Chen’s Group at School of Life Sciences identified a microRNA which regulates pollen grain development in rice

Last updated :2020-01-10

Source: School of Life Sciences
Written by: School of Life Sciences
Edited by: Xu Jia, Wang Dongmei

Recently, a research article entitled “OsmiR528 regulates rice-pollen intine formation by targeting an uclacyanin to influence flavonoid metabolism” has been published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS, 2020).

The pollen wall is a complex multilayered structure on the outer surface of pollen grains that consists of an outer exine layer and an internal intine layer in most species. The intine, the inner layer of the pollen wall, is essential for the normal development and germination of pollen and important for crop breeding. However, the composition and developmental regulation of the intine in rice (Oryza sativa) remain largely unknown.

Small non coding RNA microRNAs regulate almost every process during development. This study reported the role of miR528 in regulating pollen intine deposition by suppressing its target gene, a blue copper protein family member, UCL23 at binucleate pollen stage. The OsUCL23 protein localized in the prevacuolar compartments (PVCs) and multivesicular bodies (MVBs), and interacts with a member of the protondependent oligopeptide transport (POT) family of transporters to regulate various metabolic components, especially flavonoids. Chen’s team have previously reported the functions of other microRNAs (miR397 and miR408) which also target to blue copper protein family members in regulating rice grain yield and pollen development, and these researches have been published in Nature Biotechnology and Plant Physiology.

Besides miR528, this team have also published several papers on the function of plant non coding RNAs and RNA modification in PLOS Genetics, Plant Physiology, Plant Biotechnology Journal and a review paper in Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology.

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