Accumulation of starch in Zn-deficient rice
1 Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-8657, Japan
2 Research Institute for Bioresources and Biotechnology, Ishikawa Prefectural University, 1-308 Suematsu, Nonoichi-shi, Ishikawa, 921-8836, Japan
Rice 2012, 5:9 doi:10.1186/1939-8433-5-9Published: 6 April 2012
Zinc (Zn) is an essential micronutrient for living organisms, and understanding the molecular mechanisms of Zn deficiency may help to develop strategies to mitigate this problem. Microarray analysis of Zn deficient rice revealed the up-regulation of several genes involved in Zn transport. Moreover many genes involved in starch synthesis/transport were up-regulated by Zn deficiency in rice roots and shoots. Furthermore, starch granules were detected mainly in the cortical cells of these tissues. The gene encoding inactive RNase was much more highly transcribed than those encoding active RNases. Although the level of RNA degradation in a crude extract of Zn-deficient shoots was higher than that of Zn-sufficient shoots, addition of Zn significantly reduced the level of degradation. These results indicate that RNA degradation could be regulated by the amount of Zn in the cell, and that the tolerance of rice plants to low levels of Zn is promoted by the accumulation of starch and inactive RNase.