The effect of sucrose and abscisic acid interaction on sucrose synthase and its relationship to grain filling of rice (Oryza sativa L.)
Rice grain filling is a process of conversion of sucrose into starch catalysed by a series of enzymes. Sucrose synthase (SUS) is considered as a key enzyme regulating this process. This study investigated the possible roles of sucrose and abscisic acid (ABA) in mediating the activity and expression of SUS protein of grains during grain filling in rice (Oryza sativa). Field-grown rice plants and detached cultured panicles were used as experimental materials. Several treatments, including spikelet thinning, leaf cutting, and applications of different concentrations of exogenous sucrose and ABA, were imposed during grain filling. A higher SUS activity was found in superior grains than in inferior grains in the earlier stage of grain filling, which was significantly and closely related to a higher grain filling rate and starch accumulation. An increase in sucrose concentration in grains as a result of different treatments increased both SUS activity and SUS protein expression in grains. An increase in ABA concentration gave similar results. Furthermore, effects of interactions between sucrose and ABA on the activity and expression of SUS protein in grains were also found. It was suggested that sucrose- and ABA-mediated rice grain filling is largely due to an increase in SUS activity and SUS protein expression.