Parental Genome Imbalance Causes Post-Zygotic Seed Lethality and Deregulates Imprinting in Rice.

Zhang, HY; Luo, M; Johnson, SD; Zhu, XW; Liu, L; Huang, F; Liu, YT; Xu, PZ; Wu, XJ

Rice (New York, N.Y.) 2016 1

PMID: 27568375

Parental Genome Imbalance Causes Post-Zygotic Seed Lethality and Deregulates Imprinting in Rice.

BACKGROUND: Reproductive isolation between rice of different ploidy levels is manifested as endosperm and embryo abortion in seeds produced by interploidy crosses. Genomic imprinting is considered to be the underlying mechanism establishing the post-zygotic hybridization barrier. We characterized disrupted seed development in reciprocal crosses between a diploid Japonica rice and a tetraploid Indica rice. RESULTS: Triploid seeds from these crosses had aborted development and could not germinate in soil but could be rescued in culture medium with significantly more seeds developing to seedlings in the 4n × 2n (♀-♂) cross with excess maternal genomes than in the 2n × 4n cross with excess paternal genome. Consistent with previous findings, precocious endosperm cellularization and bigger embryos were observed in the seeds from the maternal excess cross, whereas absence of cellularization and arrested globular embryos were found in the seeds from the paternal excess cross, supporting the idea that endosperm cellularization is an important transition for embryo development. Moreover, we found that starch granules were persistently deposited in the pericarp parenchyma cells of the paternal excess cross, while pericarp starch gradually decreased and relocated to the developing endosperm in balanced and maternal excess crosses in which cellularization and starch deposition occur in endosperm, suggesting that parental genome balance influences pericarp starch relocation via cellularization and starch deposition. Loss of imprinting, or altered expression of imprinted genes and epigenetic regulators, erm' data-tid='344' href='#term-344'>OsFIE2 and OsMET1b were observed, implying the potential role of imprinting and epigenetic mechanisms in regulating the differential parental genome dosage effects on endosperm development. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the hypothesis that the maternal genome dosage promotes endosperm cellularization and the paternal genome dosage delays or inhibits cellularization via contributing different sets of imprinted genes.