High-resolution spatiotemporal transcriptome analyses during cellularization of rice endosperm unveil the earliest gene regulation critical for aleurone and starchy endosperm cell fate specification.
IF: 3.000


The major tissues of the cereal endosperm are the starchy endosperm (SE) in the inner and the aleurone layer (AL) at the outer periphery. The fates of the cells that comprise these tissues are determined according to positional information; however, our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms remains limited. Here, we conducted a high-resolution spatiotemporal analysis of the rice endosperm transcriptome during early cellularization. In rice, endosperm cellularization proceeds in a concentric pattern from a primary alveolus cell layer, such that developmental progression can be defined by the number of cell layers. Using laser-capture microdissection to obtain precise tissue sections, transcriptomic changes were followed through five histologically defined stages of cellularization from the syncytial to 3-cell layer (3 L) stage. In addition, transcriptomes were compared between the inner and the outermost peripheral cell layers. Large differences in the transcriptomes between stages and between the inner and the peripheral cells were found. SE attributes were expressed at the alveolus-cell-layer stage but were preferentially activated in the inner cell layers that resulted from periclinal division of the alveolus cell layer. Similarly, AL attributes started to be expressed only after the 2 L stage and were localized to the outermost peripheral cell layer. These results indicate that the first periclinal division of the alveolus cell layer is asymmetric at the transcriptome level, and that the cell-fate-specifying positional cues and their perception system are already operating before the first periclinal division. Several genes related to epidermal identity (i.e., type IV homeodomain-leucine zipper genes and wax biosynthetic genes) were also found to be expressed at the syncytial stage, but their expression was localized to the outermost peripheral cell layer from the 2 L stage onward. We believe that our findings significantly enhance our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying cell fate specification in rice endosperm.


Starchy endosperm

MeSH terms

Gene Expression Profiling
Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
Plant Proteins
Spatio-Temporal Analysis


Takafuji, Yoshinori
Shimizu-Sato, Sae
Ta, Kim Nhung
Suzuki, Toshiya
Nosaka-Takahashi, Misuzu
Oiwa, Tetsuro
Kimura, Wakana
Katoh, Hirokazu
Fukai, Mao
Takeda, Shin
Sato, Yutaka
Hattori, Tsukaho

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