Damaged proteins containing abnormal isoaspartyl (isoAsp) accumulate as seeds age and the abnormality is thought to undermine seed vigor. Protein-l-isoaspartyl methyltransferase (PIMT) is involved in isoAsp-containing protein repair. Two PIMT genes from rice (Oryza sativa L.), designated as OsPIMT1 and OsPIMT2, were isolated and investigated for their roles. The results indicated that OsPIMT2 was mainly present in green tissues, but OsPIMT1 largely accumulated in embryos. Confocal visualization of the transient expression of OsPIMTs showed that OsPIMT2 was localized in the chloroplast and nucleus, whereas OsPIMT1 was predominately found in the cytosol. Artificial aging results highlighted the sensitivity of the seeds of OsPIMT1 mutant line when subjected to accelerated aging. Overexpression of OsPIMT1 in transgenic seeds reduced the accumulation of isoAsp-containing protein in embryos, and increased embryo viability. The germination percentage of transgenic seeds overexpressing OsPIMT1 increased 9–15 % compared to the WT seeds after 21-day of artificial aging, whereas seeds from the OsPIMT1 RNAi lines overaccumulated isoAsp in embryos and experienced rapid loss of seed germinability. Taken together, these data strongly indicated that OsPIMT1-related seed longevity improvement is probably due to the repair of detrimental isoAsp-containing proteins that over accumulate in embryos when subjected to accelerated aging.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 5, 2015
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