ZmAPRG, an uncharacterized gene, enhances acid phosphatase activity and Pi concentration in maize leaf during phosphate starvation
An uncharacterized gene, ZmAPRG, isolated by map-based cloning, enhances acid phosphatase activity and phosphate concentration in maize leaf during phosphate starvation.
Acid phosphatase (APase) plays important roles in the absorption and utilization of phosphate (Pi) during maize growth. The information on genes regulating the acid phosphatase activity (APA) in maize leaves remains obscured. In a previous study, we delimited the quantitative trait locus, QTL-AP9 for APA to a region of about 546 kb. Here, we demonstrate that the GRMZM2G041022 located in the 546 kb region is a novel acid phosphatase-regulating gene (ZmAPRG). Its overexpression significantly increased the APA and Pi concentration in maize and rice leaves. Subcellular localization of ZmAPRG showed that it was anchored on the plasma and nuclear membrane. The transcriptome analysis of maize ZmAPRG overexpressing lines (ZmAPRG OE) revealed 1287 up-regulated and 392 down-regulated genes. Among these, we found APase, protein phosphatase, and phosphate transporter genes, which are known to be implicated in the metabolism and utilization of Pi. We inferred the ZmAPRG functions as an upstream regulation node, directly or indirectly regulating APases, protein phosphatases, and phosphate transporter genes involved in Pi metabolism and utilization in maize. These findings will pave the way for elucidating the mechanism of APase regulation, absorption and utilization of Pi, and would facilitate maize breeding for efficient use of fertilizers.
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31371700) and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (XDJK2018C052).
Compliance with ethical standards
The experiments comply with the current laws of the country.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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