Pan Yuan, Guilong Zhou, Mingzhu Yu, John P. Hammond, Haijiang Liu, Dengfeng Hong, Hongmei Cai, Guangda Ding, Sheliang Wang, Fangsen Xu, Chuang Wang, Lei Shi
The Plant Journal, First published:10 January 2024, https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.16617
Trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P) functions as a vital proxy for assessing carbohydrate status in plants. While class II T6P synthases (TPS) do not exhibit TPS activity, they are believed to play pivotal regulatory roles in trehalose metabolism. However, their precise functions in carbon metabolism and crop yield have remained largely unknown. Here, BnaC02.TPS8, a class II TPS gene, is shown to be specifically expressed in mature leaves and the developing pod walls of Brassica napus. Overexpression of BnaC02.TPS8 increased photosynthesis and the accumulation of sugars, starch, and biomass compared to wild type. Metabolomic analysis of BnaC02.TPS8 overexpressing lines and CRISPR/Cas9 mutants indicated that BnaC02.TPS8 enhanced the partitioning of photoassimilate into starch and sucrose, as opposed to glycolytic intermediates and organic acids, which might be associated with TPS activity. Furthermore, the overexpression of BnaC02.TPS8 not only increased seed yield but also enhanced seed oil accumulation and improved the oil fatty acid composition in B. napus under both high nitrogen (N) and low N conditions in the field. These results highlight the role of class II TPS in impacting photosynthesis and seed yield of B. napus, and BnaC02.TPS8 emerges as a promising target for improving B. napus seed yield.