Silencing of StRIK in potato suggests a role in periderm related to RNA processing and stress

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Fernández-Piñán, Sandra  ORCID logo
Torrent, Xènia 
Müller, Sebastian Y.  ORCID logo

Abstract: Background: The periderm is a protective barrier crucial for land plant survival, but little is known about genetic factors involved in its development and regulation. Using a transcriptomic approach in the cork oak (Q. suber) periderm, we previously identified an RS2-INTERACTING KH PROTEIN (RIK) homologue of unknown function containing a K homology (KH)-domain RNA-binding protein, as a regulatory candidate gene in the periderm. Results: To gain insight into the function of RIK in the periderm, potato (S. tuberosum) tuber periderm was used as a model: the full-length coding sequence of RIK, hereafter referred to as StRIK, was isolated, the transcript profile analyzed and gene silencing in potato performed to analyze the silencing effects on periderm anatomy and transcriptome. The StRIK transcript accumulated in all vegetative tissues studied, including periderm and other suberized tissues such as root and also in wounded tissues. Downregulation of StRIK in potato by RNA interference (StRIK-RNAi) did not show any obvious effects on tuber periderm anatomy but, unlike Wild type, transgenic plants flowered. Global transcript profiling of the StRIK-RNAi periderm did show altered expression of genes associated with RNA metabolism, stress and signaling, mirroring the biological processes found enriched within the in silico co-expression network of the Arabidopsis orthologue. Conclusions: The ubiquitous expression of StRIK transcript, the flower associated phenotype and the differential expression of StRIK-RNAi periderm point out to a general regulatory role of StRIK in diverse plant developmental processes. The transcriptome analysis suggests that StRIK might play roles in RNA maturation and stress response in the periderm.

Research Article, Development and cell biology, RS2-INTERACTING KH PROTEIN, Potato tuber periderm, Flowering, RNA regulation, KH-domain RNA-binding protein
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BMC Plant Biology
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BioMed Central
Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (AGL2006-07342)
Ministerio de Innovación y Ciencia (AGL2009-13745, BES-2010-030176)
Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (AGL2012-36725, AGL2015-67495-C2-1-R)