Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 96, Issue 1–2, pp 5–16 | Cite as

A single nucleotide mutation of IspF gene involved in the MEP pathway for isoprenoid biosynthesis causes yellow-green leaf phenotype in rice

  • Rui Huang
  • Yang Wang
  • Pingrong WangEmail author
  • Chunmei Li
  • Fuliang Xiao
  • Nenggang Chen
  • Na Li
  • Caixia Li
  • Changhui Sun
  • Lihua Li
  • Rongjun Chen
  • Zhengjun Xu
  • Jianqing Zhu
  • Xiaojian DengEmail author


Key message

We identified IspF gene through yellow-green leaf mutant 505ys in rice. OsIspF was expressed in all tissues detected, and its encoded protein was targeted to the chloroplast. On expression levels of genes in this mutant, OsIspF itself and the genes encoding other enzymes of the MEP pathway and chlorophyll synthase were all up-regulated, however, among eight genes associated with photosynthesis, only psaA, psaN and psbA genes for three reaction center subunits of photosystem obviously changed.


Isoprenoids are the most abundant natural compounds in all organisms, which originate from the basic five-carbon units isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). In plants, IPP and DMAPP are synthesized through two independent pathways, the mevalonic acid pathway in cytoplasm and the 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway in plastids. The MEP pathway comprises seven enzymatic steps, in which IspF is the fifth enzyme. So far, no IspF gene has been identified in monocotyledonous plants. In this study, we isolated a leaf-color mutant, 505ys, in rice (Oryza sativa). The mutant displayed yellow-green leaf phenotype, reduced level of photosynthetic pigments, and arrested development of chloroplasts. By map-based cloning of this mutant, we identified OsIspF gene (LOC_Os02g45660) showing significant similarity to IspF gene of Arabidopsis, in which a missense mutation occurred in the mutant, resulting in an amino acid change in the encoded protein. OsIspF gene was expressed in all tissues detected, and its encoded protein was targeted to the chloroplast. Further, the mutant phenotype of 505ys was complemented by transformation with the wild-type OsIspF gene. Therefore, we successfully identified an IspF gene in monocotyledonous plants. In addition, real-time quantitative RT-PCR implied that a positive regulation could exist between the OsIspF gene and the genes encoding other enzymes of the MEP pathway and chlorophyll synthase. At the same time, it also implied that the individual genes involved in the MEP pathway might differentially regulated expression levels of the genes associated with photosynthesis.


Rice (Oryza sativaIsoprenoid biosynthesis IspF gene Yellow-green leaf mutant Map-based cloning 



2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate


Mevalonic acid


2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 2,4-cyclodiphosphate synthase




Isopentenyl diphosphate


Dimethylallyl diphosphate



This study was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 91335107, 31471473, 31371602 and 31401358).

Author contributions

RH and YW performed most of the research. PW, CML and FX carried out subcellular localization assays. NC, NL, CXL and CS performed some field experiments. LL, RC, ZX and JZ provided technical assistance. PW and RH analyzed the experimental data and drafted the manuscript. PW and XD designed the experiments, supervised the study and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11103_2017_668_MOESM1_ESM.docx (637 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 636 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rice Research InstituteSichuan Agricultural UniversityChengduChina

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