Journal Article A Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism in an Endo-1,4-beta-Glucanase Gene Controls Seed Coat Permeability in Soybean

Jang, Seong-Jin  ,  Sato, Masako  ,  Sato, Kei  ,  Jitsuyama, Yutaka  ,  Fujino, Kaien  ,  Mori, Haruhide  ,  Takahashi, Ryoji  ,  Benitez, Eduardo R.  ,  Liu, Baohui  ,  Yamada, Tetsuya  ,  Abe, Jun

10 ( 6 )  , p.e0128527 , 2015-06-04 , PLOS
Physical dormancy, a structural feature of the seed coat known as hard seededness, is an important characteristic for adaptation of plants against unstable and unpredictable environments. To dissect the molecular basis of qHS1, a quantitative trait locus for hard seededness in soybean (Glycine max (L) Merr.), we developed a near-isogenic line (NIL) of a permeable (soft-seeded) cultivar, Tachinagaha, containing a hard-seed allele from wild soybean (G. soja) introduced by successive backcrossings. The hard-seed allele made the seed coat of Tachinagaha more rigid by increasing the amount of beta-1,4-glucans in the outer layer of palisade cells of the seed coat on the dorsal side of seeds, known to be a point of entrance of water. Fine-mapping and subsequent expression and sequencing analyses revealed that qHS1 encodes an endo-1,4-beta-glucanase. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) introduced an amino acid substitution in a substrate-binding cleft of the enzyme, possibly reducing or eliminating its affinity for substrates in permeable cultivars. Introduction of the genomic region of qHS1 from the impermeable (hard-seeded) NIL into the permeable cultivar Kariyutaka resulted in accumulation of beta-1,4-glucan in the outer layer of palisade cells and production of hard seeds. The SNP allele found in the NIL was further associated with the occurrence of hard seeds in soybean cultivars of various origins. The findings of this and previous studies may indicate that qHS1 is involved in the accumulation of beta-1,4-glucan derivatives such as xyloglucan and/or beta-(1,3)(1,4)-glucan that reinforce the impermeability of seed coats in soybean.

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