• rice;
  • starch synthase IIa (SSIIa);
  • promoter analysis;
  • endosperm-specific expression



Starch, the major component of rice grain, consists of amylose and amylopectin. SSIIa, a key soluble starch synthase involved in the biosynthesis of rice amylopectin, is a major factor that controls the gelatinization temperature of rice grain. Extensive work has been done and impressive progress has been made in elaborating the function of the gene encoding SSIIa (OsSSII-3). However, the systematic expression analysis of OsSSII-3 is still rare.


In the present study, we performed a comprehensive expression analysis of OsSSII-3 in both the developing seeds and other tissues of indica rice 9311 by using quantitative real-time PCR. The results showed that the gene was dominantly expressed in the developing seeds. In addition, the promoter sequence of OsSSII-3 was cloned and fused with the GUS reporter gene and its expression was carefully monitored in the transgenic rice. The data from both histochemical and fluorometric analyses showed that the OsSSII-3 promoter was capable of driving the target gene to have an endosperm-specific expression, which may be due to the existing of several endosperm-specific motifs in the promoter, including the −300 elements, AACA motifs and GCN4 motifs. This result was quite consistent with that of the endogenous transcription analysis of OsSSII-3.


This study not only advanced our understanding of the spatial and temporal expression characteristics of OsSSII-3, but also provided a valuable promoter for future application in generating elite rice varieties with high nutritional or medicinal value. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry