Seed filling in domesticated maize and rice depends on SWEET-mediated hexose transport
Davide Sosso,Dangping Luo,Qin-Bao Li,Joelle Sasse,Jinliang Yang,Ghislaine Gendrot,Masaharu Suzuki,Karen E Koch,Donald R McCarty,Prem S Chourey,Peter M Rogowsky,Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra,Bing Yang & Wolf B Frommer
Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Science, Stanford, California, USA
Abstract: Carbohydrate import into seeds directly determines seed size and must have been increased through domestication. However, evidence of the domestication of sugar translocation and the identities of seed-filling transporters have been elusive. Maize ZmSWEET4c, as opposed to its sucrose-transporting homologs, mediates transepithelial hexose transport across the basal endosperm transfer layer (BETL), the entry point of nutrients into the seed, and shows signatures indicative of selection during domestication. Mutants of both maize ZmSWEET4c and its rice ortholog OsSWEET4 are defective in seed filling, indicating that a lack of hexose transport at the BETL impairs further transfer of sugars imported from the maternal phloem. In both maize and rice, SWEET4 was likely recruited during domestication to enhance sugar import into the endosperm.
Keywords: Organogenesis;Plant genetics;Plant physiology