Table_3_Rice Genome-Scale Network Integration Reveals Transcriptional Regulators of Grass Cell Wall Synthesis.docx
Grasses have evolved distinct cell wall composition and patterning relative to dicotyledonous plants. However, despite the importance of this plant family, transcriptional regulation of its cell wall biosynthesis is poorly understood. To identify grass cell wall-associated transcription factors, we constructed the Rice Combined mutual Ranked Network (RCRN). The RCRN covers >90% of annotated rice (Oryza sativa) genes, is high quality, and includes most grass-specific cell wall genes, such as mixed-linkage glucan synthases and hydroxycinnamoyl acyltransferases. Comparing the RCRN and an equivalent Arabidopsis network suggests that grass orthologs of most genetically verified eudicot cell wall regulators also control this process in grasses, but some transcription factors vary significantly in network connectivity between these divergent species. Reverse genetics, yeast-one-hybrid, and protoplast-based assays reveal that OsMYB61a activates a grass-specific acyltransferase promoter, which confirms network predictions and supports grass-specific cell wall synthesis genes being incorporated into conserved regulatory circuits. In addition, 10 of 15 tested transcription factors, including six novel Wall-Associated regulators (WAP1, WACH1, WAHL1, WADH1, OsMYB13a, and OsMYB13b), alter abundance of cell wall-related transcripts when transiently expressed. The results highlight the quality of the RCRN for examining rice biology, provide insight into the evolution of cell wall regulation, and identify network nodes and edges that are possible leads for improving cell wall composition.