Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 62, Issue 4, pp 663–670 | Cite as

Abscisic acid biosynthesis under water stress: anomalous behavior of the 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase1 (NCED1) gene in rice

  • S. S. Changan
  • K. Ali
  • V. Kumar
  • N. K. Garg
  • A. TyagiEmail author
Original papers


The gene NCED1 encodes 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase, which catalyzes oxidative cleavage of 9-cis-epoxycarotenoids neoxanthin and violaxanthin to xanthoxin, a key step in the biosynthesis of abscisic acid (ABA) in higher plants. In the present study, the complete NCED1 of 1 917 bp was cloned and characterized from rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. N22) as no earlier reports were available for its characterization from the indica cultivar. The NCED1 had no intron and encoded a protein of 639 amino acids with a predicted molecular mass of 68.62 kD and pI of 6.07. The aliphatic index and grand average of hydropathicity were found to be 77.04 and -0.148, respectively. Multiple alignment analysis revealed that the sequence shared a high identity with the Oryza sativa japonica group (100 %) followed by Triticum aestivum (90 %), Hordeum vulgare (90 %), and Zea mays (89 %). The enzyme had a RPE65 domain of 476 amino acid residues. The RPE65 domain requires Fe(II) as a cofactor coordinated with 4 histidine residues and 3 glutamic acid residues. The phylogenic tree shows that NCED1 of japonica rice and NCED1 of indica rice were in the same group. They might have been evolved from a common ancestor. Analysis with a PSORT III tool shows that NCED is a chloroplastic protein. The real-time quantitative PCR and RNA-sequencing studies show that the expression of NCED1 was progressively reduced with increasing water stress, and a negative correlation between expression of OsNCED1 and severity of stress was established. Further, NCED1 expression negatively correlated with ABA accumulation under water stress whereas in some other species, its expression increased along with ABA accumulation. This might be due to feedback inhibition of the ABA biosynthesis in rice.

Additional key words

carotenoids membrane stability index phylogenetic tree relative water content 



abscisic acid


membrane stability index


9-cis-epoxy-carotenoid dioxygenase


quantitative polymerase chain reaction


reverse phase-high performance liquid chromatography


relative water content


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Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. S. Changan
    • 1
  • K. Ali
    • 1
  • V. Kumar
    • 2
  • N. K. Garg
    • 1
  • A. Tyagi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of BiochemistryIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Division of Basic SciencesIndian Institute of Pulse ResearchKanpurIndia

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