Letter | Published:

Natural alleles of a proteasome α2 subunit gene contribute to thermotolerance and adaptation of African rice

Nature Genetics volume 47, pages 827833 (2015) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Global warming threatens many aspects of human life1,2, for example, by reducing crop yields3,4,5. Breeding heat-tolerant crops using genes conferring thermotolerance is a fundamental way to help deal with this challenge4,5,6,7,8,9. Here we identify a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) for thermotolerance in African rice (Oryza glaberrima), Thermo-tolerance 1 (TT1), which encodes an α2 subunit of the 26S proteasome involved in the degradation of ubiquitinated proteins. Ubiquitylome analysis indicated that OgTT1 protects cells from heat stress through more efficient elimination of cytotoxic denatured proteins and more effective maintenance of heat-response processes than achieved with OsTT1. Variation in TT1 has been selected for on the basis of climatic temperature and has had an important role in local adaptation during rice evolution. In addition, we found that overexpression of OgTT1 was associated with markedly enhanced thermotolerance in rice, Arabidopsis and Festuca elata. This discovery may lead to an increase in crop security in the face of the ongoing threat of global warming.

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GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ

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Acknowledgements

We thank G.Q. Zhang and the National Mid-term Genebank for Rice of China National Rice Research Institute for kindly providing O. glaberrima and O. sativa from Africa, respectively. We thank Y. Li for help with bioinformatics analysis. This work was supported by grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2012AA10A302, 2012CB944800), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31421093, 31101128), the CAS-Croucher Funding Scheme for Joint Laboratories, the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, and the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (CUHK2/CRF/11G and AoE/M-05/12).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

    • Xin-Min Li
    • , Dai-Yin Chao
    • , Yuan Wu
    • , Ke Chen
    • , Long-Gang Cui
    • , Lei Su
    • , Wang-Wei Ye
    • , Hao Chen
    • , Hua-Chang Chen
    • , Nai-Qian Dong
    • , Tao Guo
    • , Min Shi
    • , Peng Zhang
    • , Jun-Xiang Shan
    • , Ji-Ping Gao
    •  & Hong-Xuan Lin
  2. National Center for Gene Research, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

    • Xuehui Huang
    • , Qi Feng
    •  & Bin Han
  3. Collaborative Innovation Center of Genetics and Development, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.

    • Bin Han
    •  & Hong-Xuan Lin

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Contributions

H.-X.L. conceived and supervised the project. H.-X.L., J.-P.G., J.-X.S. and X.-M.L. designed the experiments. X.-M.L. carried out most of the experiments. D.-Y.C., Y.W., X.H., K.C., L.-G.C., L.S., W.-W.Y., H.C., H.-C.C., N.-Q.D., T.G., M.S., Q.F., P.Z., B.H., J.-X.S., J.-P.G. and H.-X.L. carried out some of the experiments. X.-M.L., D.-Y.C. and H.-X.L. analyzed data and wrote the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Jun-Xiang Shan or Ji-Ping Gao or Hong-Xuan Lin.

Supplementary information

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    Supplementary Text and Figures

    Supplementary Figures 1–16 and Supplementary Tables 2 and 3

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    Supplementary Table 1

    Summary of differentially ubiquitinated sites and corresponding proteins identified and quantified (two-way ANOVA, P(interaction) < 0.05)

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ng.3305

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