Lianan Guo#, Weilan Chen#, Lei Tao#, Binhua Hu, Guoli Qu, Bin Tu, Hua Yuan, Bingtian Ma, Yuping Wang, Xiaobo Zhu, Peng Qin*, Shigui Li*
Plant Science (IF=3.591), 2020 , 296: 110497
Appearance quality is an important determinant of rice quality. Many genes that affect grain appearance quality have been identified, but the regulatory mechanisms that contribute to this trait remain unclear. Here, two grains with chalkiness (gwc1) mutants, gwc1−1 and gwc1−2, were identified from an EMS-mutagenized population of indica rice cultivar Shuhui498 (R498). The gwc1 mutants had poor grain appearance quality consistent with the measured values for the percentage of grains with chalkiness, square of chalky endosperm, the total starch, amylose and sucrose contents. Milling quality and grain size were also affected in the gwc1 mutants. The gwc1−1 and gwc1−2 were found to be loss-of-function allelic mutants. GWC1 was mapped to the long arm of rice chromosome 8 using the MutMap strategy and incorrectly annotated in the reference genome for Nipponbare (MSU). The GWC1 gene corresponds to the WTG1/OsOTUB1 gene, which encodes an otubain-like protease with deubiquitinating activity that is homologous to human OTUB1. GWC1 transcripts accumulated to high levels in early endosperm after fertilization and developing inflorescences, and GWC1−green fluorescent protein (GFP) signal was detected in the nucleus and cytoplasm. GWC1 is likely to regulate grain appearance quality through genes involved in sucrose metabolism and starch biosynthesis. Overall, the present findings reveal that GWC1 is important for grain quality and yield due to its effects on grain chalkiness and size.