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Editing of Rice Isoamylase Gene ISA1 Provides Insights into Its Function in Starch Formation
Shufen Chao+, Yicong Cai+, Baobing Feng, Guiai Jiao, Zhonghua Sheng, Ju Luo, Shaoqing Tang, Jianlong Wang, Peisong Hu*, Xiangjin Wei*
Rice Science  , 2019, 26(2):77-87.

Abstract

Isoamylase 1 (ISA1) is an isoamylase-type debranching enzyme which plays a predominant role in amylopectin synthesis. In this study, the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated endonuclease 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system was used to edit ISA1 gene in rice via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. We identified 36 genetic edited lines from 55 T0 transgenic events, and classified the mutation forms into 7 types. Of those, two homozygous mutants, cr-isa1-1 (type 1, with an adenine insertion) and cr-isa1-2 (type 3, with a cytosine deletion) were selected for further analysis. Seed sizes of both cr-isa1-1 and cr-isa1-2 were affected, and the two mutants also displayed a shrunken endosperm with significantly lower grain weight. Electron microscopy analysis showed that abnormal starch granules and amyloplasts were found in cr-isa1-1 and cr-isa1-2 endosperm cells. The contents of total starch, amylose and amylopectin in the endosperm of the cr-isa1 mutants were significantly reduced, whereas sugar content and starch gel consistency were observably increased compared to the wild-type. The gelatinization temperature and starch chain length distributions of the cr-isa1 mutants were also altered. Moreover, transcript levels of most starch synthesis-related genes were significantly lower in cr-isa1 mutants. In conclusion, the results indicated that gene edition of ISA1 affected starch synthesis and endosperm development, and brought potential implications for rice quality breeding.

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