Regulation of Inflorescence Branch Development in Rice Through a Novel Pathway Involving the Pentatricopeptide Repeat Protein Sped1-D
Guanghuai Jiang, Yanghai Xiang, Jiying Zhao, Dedong Yin, Xianfeng Zhao, Lihuang Zhu, Wenxue Zhai


Panicle type has a direct bearing on rice yield. Here, we characterized a rice clustered-spikelet mutant, sped1-D, with shortened pedicels and/or secondary branches, which exhibits decreased pollen fertility. We cloned sped1-D and found that it encodes a pentatricopeptide repeat protein. We investigated the global expression profiles of wild-type, 9311 and sped1-D plants using Illumina RNA sequencing. The expression of several GID1L2 family members was downregulated in the sped1-D mutant, suggesting that the gibberellin (GA) pathway is involved in the elongation of pedicels and/or secondary branches. When we overexpressed one GID1L2, AK070299, in sped1-D plants, the panicle phenotype was restored to varying degrees. In addition, we analyzed the expression of genes that function in floral meristems and found that RFL and WOX3 were severely downregulated in sped1-D. These results suggest that sped1-D may prompt the shortening of pedicels and secondary branches by blocking the action of GID1L2, RFL and Wox3. Moreover, overexpression of sped1-D in Arabidopsis resulted in the shortening of pedicels and clusters of siliques, which indicates that the function of sped1-D is highly conserved in monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants.

  • Received March 9, 2014.
  • Accepted June 4, 2014.