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OsMAPK6 positively regulates rice cold tolerance at seedling stage via phosphorylating and stabilizing OsICE1 and OsIPA1

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Rice is a chilling-sensitive plant, and extremely low temperatures seriously decrease rice production. Several genes involved in chilling stress have been reported in rice; however, the chilling signaling in rice remains largely unknown. Here, we investigated the chilling tolerance phenotype of overexpression of constitutive active OsMAPK6 (CAMAPK6-OE) and OsMAPK6 mutant dsg1, and demonstrated that OsMAPK6 positively regulated rice chilling tolerance. It was shown that, under cold stress, the survival rate of dsg1 was significantly lower than that of WT, whereas CAMAPK6-OE display higher survival rate than WT. Physiological assays indicate that ion leakage and dead cell in dsg1 was much more severe than those in WT and CAMAPK6-OE. Consistently, expression of chilling responsive genes in dsg1, including OsCBFs and OsTPP1, was significantly lower than that of in WT and CAMAPK6-OE. Biochemical analyses revealed that chilling stress promotes phosphorylation of OsMAPK6. Besides, we found that OsMAPK6 interacts with and phosphorylates two key regulators in rice cold signaling, OsIPA1 and OsICE1, and then enhance their protein stability. Overall, our results revealed a cold-induced OsMAPK6-OsICE1/OsIPA1 signaling cascade by which OsMAPK6 was involved in rice chilling tolerance, which provides novel insights to understand rice cold response at seedling stage.

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We would like to thank Prof. Yunhai Li for providing the mutant of dsg1 and CAMAPK6-OE. This study was supported by Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang (Grant No. YQ2022CO38), Youth Innovation Promotion Association CAS (Grant No. 2021229), Heilongjiang Key Research and Development Program (Grant No. 2022ZX02B03), Young Scientist Group Project of Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. 2023QNXZ02).


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XT and QB conceived and designed the experiments. JL and JL performed most of the experiments, and MH, YL, XL, ZW assisted the experiments. XT and JL analyzed the data and wrote the article, and XT, QB, CZ, XJ, JS and WZ revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Qingyun Bu or Xiaojie Tian.

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Communicated by Peter Langridge.

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Liu, J., Liu, J., He, M. et al. OsMAPK6 positively regulates rice cold tolerance at seedling stage via phosphorylating and stabilizing OsICE1 and OsIPA1. Theor Appl Genet 137, 10 (2024).

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