Overexpression of RcFUSCA3, a B3 transcription factor from the PLB in Rosa canina, activates starch accumulation and induces male sterility in Arabidopsis


A homologue of the Arabidopsis gene FUSCA3 (FUS3), isolated from the protocorm-like body (PLB) of Rosa canina and designated RcFUS3, encodes 331 amino acid residues. It was shown that RcFUS3 is specifically expressed in the PLB of R. canina and that its subcellular localization is in the nucleus. The Arabidopsis fus3-3 mutant phenotype could be rescued by over-expression of RcFUS3, suggesting that RcFUS3 has a function similar to that of Arabidopsis FUS3. Over-expression of RcFUS3 in wild type Arabidopsis resulted in a decrease in endogenous GA and CTK levels, an increase in ABA and IAA contents, starch grain accumulation in the cotyledon and hypocotyl, failure of cotyledon extension and abnormal elongation of the hypocotyl, abnormal stomatal and pavement cells, an increase in branch numbers, prolongation of the growth cycle, and morphological changes in floral organs. Interestingly, over-expression of RcFUS3 in homozygous form resulted in premature degradation of the tapetum, indehiscent anthers and hypogenetic stamens, causing complete male sterility in Arabidopsis; this is the first observation that over-expression of a gene (RcFUS3) homologous to FUS3 can lead to male sterility and starch grain accumulation in Arabidopsis.

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Abscisic acid





GA3 :

Gibberellic acid


Green fluorescent protein


Indole-3-acetic acid


Murashige and Skoog


Open reading frame


Protocorm-like body


Rapid amplification of cDNA ends


Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction


Scanning electron microscopy


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This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 30871733 and 31272168) (http://www.nsfc.gov.cn/) and the National Undergraduate Innovation and entrepreneurship training program (201610478040) (http://www.moe.edu.cn).

Author information




KDX conceived and designed the experiments; KDX, JZ, JXW and WW performed the experiments; KDX, CWL and LJZ analyzed the data; JXW, PXL, LHK, QML and MYZ contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools; KDX and CWL wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Liangjun Zhao.

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The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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Communicated by Sergio J. Ochatt.

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Xu, K., Zhang, J., Wu, J. et al. Overexpression of RcFUSCA3, a B3 transcription factor from the PLB in Rosa canina, activates starch accumulation and induces male sterility in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell Tiss Organ Cult 133, 87–101 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11240-017-1364-7

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  • FUSCA3
  • Protocorm-like body
  • Rosa canina
  • Male sterility
  • Starch accumulation