NAKED ENDOSPERM1, NAKED ENDOSPERM2, and OPAQUE2 interact to regulate gene networks in maize endosperm development

Hao Wu, Mary Galli, Carla J. Spears, Junpeng Zhan, Peng Liu, Ramin Yadegari, Joanne M. Dannenhoffer, Andrea Gallavotti, Philip W. Becraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

NAKED ENDOSPERM1 (NKD1), NKD2, and OPAQUE2 (O2) are transcription factors important for cell patterning and nutrient storage in maize (Zea mays) endosperm. To study the complex regulatory interrelationships among these 3 factors in coregulating gene networks, we developed a set of nkd1, nkd2, and o2 homozygous lines, including all combinations of mutant and wild-type genes. Among the 8 genotypes tested, we observed diverse phenotypes and gene interactions affecting cell patterning, starch content, and storage proteins. From ∼8 to ∼16 d after pollination, maize endosperm undergoes a transition from cellular development to nutrient accumulation for grain filling. Gene network analysis showed that NKD1, NKD2, and O2 dynamically regulate a hierarchical gene network during this period, directing cellular development early and then transitioning to constrain cellular development while promoting the biosynthesis and storage of starch, proteins, and lipids. Genetic interactions regulating this network are also dynamic. The assay for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing (ATAC-seq) showed that O2 influences the global regulatory landscape, decreasing NKD1 and NKD2 target site accessibility, while NKD1 and NKD2 increase O2 target site accessibility. In summary, interactions of NKD1, NKD2, and O2 dynamically affect the hierarchical gene network and regulatory landscape during the transition from cellular development to grain filling in maize endosperm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-39
Number of pages21
JournalPlant Cell
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

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