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Mutation of OsALDH7 causes a yellow-colored endosperm associated with accumulation of oryzamutaic acid A in rice

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Aldehyde dehydrogenase proteins consist of a superfamily and the family 7 (ALDH7) is a typical group with highly conserved proteins across species. It catalyzes oxidation of α-aminoadipic semialdehyde (AASA) in lysine degradation, participates in protection against hyperosmotic stress, and detoxifies aldehydes in human; however, its function in plants has been much less documented. Here we reported a mutant with yellow-colored endosperm in rice, and showed that the yellow endosperm was caused by mutation of OsALDH7. OsALDH7 is expressed in all tissues detected, with the highest level in mature seeds. We found that oryzamutaic acid A accumulated during late seed development and after a year-long storage in the colored endosperm, whereas it was undetectable in the wild type endosperm. Moreover, lysine degradation was enhanced in yeast over-expressing OsALDH7 and as a result, content of lysine, glutamate and saccharopine was changed, suggesting a role of OsALDH7 in lysine catabolism.

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Aminoadipic semialdehyde


Abscisic acid


Aldehyde dehydrogenase


Days after flowering


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide


Coenzyme A


Lipid peroxidation


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate




Polyethylene glycol


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This research was supported by the 973 Program of China (2007CB108802), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30700497), National Key Transform Program (2008ZX08001-006), the Doctorial New Teacher Project from Education Department of China (20070307029), and the Commonweal Industry Scientific Research Program (200803056). We are grateful to Prof. Chuanying Wu (Ceres, Inc.) for critical reading of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Jianmin Wan.

Electronic supplementary material

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Supplementary Fig. S1 Protein alignment and phylogenic tree of ALDH7 families in both plants and animals. The three conserved motif (ALDH glutamic acid active site, cysteine active site and the possible coenzyme-binding site) were boxed and mutant site of jmw in OsALDH7 (★) was shown. The rooted tree was generated based on a multiple sequence alignment using the program DNAMAN. The scale represents the percentage substitution per site (DOC 1981 kb)

Supplementary Fig. S2 Inducible expression of OsALDH7 by salt, ABA and drought treatments, and the expressions of other ALDH genes. a Relative expression levels after 12 h or 24 h treatment with 250 mM NaCl, 50 μM ABA, or 20% PEG-5000, in 2-weeks-old W3660 (wild type) seedlings. b Expression level of different ALDH family genes in jmw and W3660. Error bars represent the SE (n = 3) and UBQ5 (AK061988) was used as an internal control. c Drought tolerance was impaired in jmw after dehydration for 5 days. Error bars represent the SE (n = 3) (DOC 444 kb)

Supplementary Fig. S3 Original HPLC figures of saccharopine assay, including standards sample (a), the extracted sample from W3660 (b) and jmw endosperm (c), the extracted sample from yeast strain over-expressing OsALDH7 (e) and its control (d) (DOC 206 kb)

Supplementary Table S1 1H & 13C-NMR data comparison between results of this study and Nakano et al. (2009) (DOC 51 kb)

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Shen, Y., Zhang, Y., Yang, C. et al. Mutation of OsALDH7 causes a yellow-colored endosperm associated with accumulation of oryzamutaic acid A in rice. Planta 235, 433–441 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-011-1477-x

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  • Aldehyde dehydrogenase 7
  • Yellow endosperm
  • Oryzamutaic acid A
  • Lysine catabolism
  • Rice (Oryza sativa L.)