Transcriptome analysis of the phosphate starvation response sheds light on strigolactone biosynthesis in rice

Imran Haider, Zhang Yunmeng, Fred White, Changsheng Li, Roberto Incitti, Intikhab Alam, Takashi Gojobori, Carolien Ruyter-Spira, Salim Al-Babili, Harro J. Bouwmeester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Phosphorus (P) is a major element required for plant growth and development. To cope with P shortage, plants activate local and long-distance signaling pathways, such as the increase in the production and exudation of strigolactones (SLs). The role of the latter in mitigating P deficiency is, however, still largely unknown. To shed light on this, we studied the transcriptional response to P starvation and replenishment in wild-type rice and a SL mutant, dwarf10 (d10), and upon exogenous application of the synthetic SL GR24. P starvation resulted in major transcriptional alterations, such as the upregulation of P TRANSPORTER, SYG1/PHO81/XPR1 (SPX) and VACUOLAR PHOSPHATE EFFLUX TRANSPORTER. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis of the genes induced by P starvation showed enrichment in phospholipid catabolic process and phosphatase activity. In d10, P deficiency induced upregulation of genes enriched for sesquiterpenoid production, secondary shoot formation, and metabolic processes, including lactone biosynthesis. Furthermore, several genes induced by GR24 treatment shared the same GO terms with P starvation-induced genes, such as oxidation reduction, heme binding and oxidoreductase activity, hinting at the role that SLs play in the transcriptional reprogramming upon P starvation. Gene co-expression network analysis uncovered a METHYL TRANSFERASE that displayed co-regulation with known rice SL biosynthetic genes. Functional characterization showed that this gene encodes an enzyme catalyzing the conversion of carlactonoic acid to methyl carlactonoate. Our work provides a valuable resource to further studies on the response of crops to P deficiency and reveals a tool for the discovery of new SL biosynthetic genes.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe Plant Journal
StatePublished - Feb 12 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-03-01
Acknowledgements: We thank Laurence Miesch for kindly providing MeCLA. This work was supported by NWO-grant on the role of strigolactones in the adaptation of rice to phosphate shortage (846.11.003; NSFC 11-08) to YZ, ERC Advanced Grant CHEMCOMRHIZO (670211) to HJB and Gravitation programme Harnessing the second genome of plants (MiCRop; Grant number 024.004.014) to HJB and IH and baseline funding and Competitive Research Grant (CRG) to SA-B from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The authors acknowledge the Data Science Center at the University of Amsterdam.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology
  • Genetics


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