Modification of Threonine-1050 of SlBRI1 Regulates BR Signalling and Increases Fruit Yield of Tomato
Shufen Wang, Jianwei Liu, Tong Zhao, Chenxi Du, Shuming Nie, Yanyu Zhang, Siqi Lv, Shuhua Huang, Xiaofeng Wang.
BMC Plant Biology
Abstract: Background: Appropriate brassinosteroid (BR) signal strength caused by exogenous application or endogenous regulation of BR-related genes can increase crop yield. However, precise control of BR signals is difficult and can cause unstable effects and failure to reach full potential. Phosphorylated BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE1 (BRI1), the rate-limiting receptor in BR signalling, transduces BR signals, and we recently demonstrated that modifying BRI1 phosphorylation sites alters BR signal strength and botanical characteristics in Arabidopsis. However, the functions of such phosphorylation sites in agronomic characteristics of crops remain unclear.
Results: In this work, we investigated the roles of tomato SlBRI1 threonine-1050 (Thr-1050). SlBRI1 mutant cu3-abs1 plants expressing SlBRI1 with a non-phosphorylatable Thr-1050 (T1050A), with a wild-type SlBRI1 transformant used as a control, were examined. The results showed enhanced autophosphorylation of SlBRI1 and BR signal strength for cu3-abs1 harbouring T1050A, which promoted yield through increased plant expansion, leaf area, fruit weight and fruit number per cluster but reduced nutrient contents, including ascorbic acid and soluble sugar levels. Moreover, plant height, stem diameter, and internodal distance were similar between the transgenic plants.
Conclusion: Our results reveal the biological role of Thr-1050 in tomato and provide a molecular basis for establishing high-yield crops by precisely controlling BR signal strength via phosphorylation site modification.