Tudor-SN is involved in a myriad of transcriptional and post-transcriptional processes due to its modular structure consisting of 4 tandem SN domains (4SN module) and C-terminal Tsn module consisting of Tudor-partial SN domains. We had previously demonstrated that OsTudor-SN is a key player for transporting storage protein mRNAs to specific ER subdomains in developing rice endosperm. Here, we provide genetic evidence that this multifunctional RBP is required for storage protein expression, seed development and protein body formation. The rice EM1084 line, possessing a nonsynonymous mutation in the 4SN module (SN3 domain), exhibited a strong reduction in grain weight and storage protein accumulation, while a mutation in the Tudor domain (47M) or the loss of the Tsn module (43M) had much smaller effects. Immunoelectron microscopic analysis showed the presence of a new protein body type containing glutelin and prolamine inclusions in EM1084, while 43M and 47M exhibited structurally modified prolamine and glutelin protein bodies. Transcriptome analysis indicates that OsTudor-SN also functions in regulating gene expression of transcriptional factors and genes involved in developmental processes and stress responses as well as for storage proteins. Normal protein body formation, grain weight and expression of many genes were partially restored in EM1084 transgenic line complemented with wild-type OsTudor-SN gene. Overall, our study showed that OsTudor-SN possesses multiple functional properties in rice storage protein expression and seed development and that the 4SN and Tsn modules have unique roles in these processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology