December 2012, Volume 54 Issue 12, Pages 934ĘC1020.

Cover Caption: Rice Anther Development
About the cover: At the early stage of rice flower development, the lemma, palea, stamen and pistil primordia are first formed, as shown by the cover picture taken under an electron microscope. The stamen primordia further develop into mature anthers, with viable pollen inside. In this issue, Guo and Liu (pp. 967ĘC978) summarize recent advances in molecular genetic studies of rice anther development and male fertility/sterility control. Research in this field has significant implications in rice genetic improvement.


Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2012 54(12): 934-935
Published Online: December 11, 2012
DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12009
Abstract (Browse 733)  |  References  |  Full Text HTML  |  Full Text PDF  |  Cited By       
          Invited Expert Reviews
Regulation of Leaf Senescence and Crop Genetic Improvement  
Author: Xiao-Yuan Wu, Ben-Ke Kuai, Ji-Zeng Jia and Hai-Chun Jing
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2012 54(12): 936-952
Published Online: December 11, 2012
DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12005

Leaf senescence can impact crop production by either changing photosynthesis duration, or by modifying the nutrient remobilization efficiency and harvest index. The doubling of the grain yield in major cereals in the last 50 years was primarily achieved through the extension of photosynthesis duration and the increase in crop biomass partitioning, two things that are intrinsically coupled with leaf senescence. In this review, we consider the functionality of a leaf as a function of leaf age, and divide a leaf's life into three phases: the functionality increasing phase at the early growth stage, the full functionality phase, and the senescence and functionality decreasing phase. A genetic framework is proposed to describe gene actions at various checkpoints to regulate leaf development and senescence. Four categories of genes contribute to crop production: those which regulate (I) the speed and transition of early leaf growth, (II) photosynthesis rate, (III) the onset and (IV) the progression of leaf senescence. Current advances in isolating and characterizing senescence regulatory genes are discussed in the leaf aging and crop production context. We argue that the breeding of crops with leaf senescence ideotypes should be an essential part of further crop genetic improvement.

Wu XY, Kuai BK, Jia JZ, Jing HC (2012) Regulation of leaf senescence and crop genetic improvement. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 54(12), 936–952.

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Effort and Contribution of T-DNA Insertion Mutant Library for Rice Functional Genomics Research in China: Review and Perspective
Author: Yuxiao Chang, Tuan Long and Changyin Wu
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2012 54(12): 953-966
Published Online: November 29, 2012
DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2012.01171.x

With the completion of the rice (Oryza sativa L.) genome-sequencing project, the rice research community proposed to characterize the function of every predicted gene in rice by 2020. One of the most effective and high-throughput strategies for studying gene function is to employ genetic mutations induced by insertion elements such as T-DNA or transposons. Since 1999, with support from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China for Rice Functional Genomics Programs, large-scale T-DNA insertion mutant populations have been generated in Huazhong Agricultural University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Currently, a total of 372,346 mutant lines have been generated, and 58,226 T-DNA or Tos17 flanking sequence tags have been isolated. Using these mutant resources, more than 40 genes with potential applications in rice breeding have already been identified. These include genes involved in biotic or abiotic stress responses, nutrient metabolism, pollen development, and plant architecture. The functional analysis of these genes will not only deepen our understanding of the fundamental biological questions in rice, but will also offer valuable gene resources for developing Green Super Rice that is high-yielding with few inputs even under the poor growth conditions of many regions of Africa and Asia.

Chang Y, Long T, Wu C (2012) Effort and contribution of T-DNA insertion mutant library for rice functional genomics research in china: A decade review and perspective. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 54(12), 953–966.

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Molecular Control of Male Reproductive Development and Pollen Fertility in Rice  
Author: Jing-Xin Guo and Yao-Guang Liu
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2012 54(12): 967-978
Published Online: December 11, 2012
DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2012.01172.x

Anther development and male fertility are essential biological processes for flowering plants and are important for crop seed production. Genetic manipulation of male fertility/sterility is critical for crop hybrid breeding. Rice (Oryza sativa L.) male sterility phenotypes, including genic male sterility, hybrid male sterility, and cytoplasmic male sterility, are generally caused by mutations of fertility-related genes, by incompatible interactions between divergent allelic or non-allelic genes, or by genetic incompatibilities between cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes. Here, we review the recent advances in the molecular basis of anther development and male fertility-sterility conversion in specific genetic backgrounds, and the interactions with certain environmental factors. The highlighted findings in this review have significant implications in both basic studies and rice genetic improvement.

Guo JX, Liu YG (2012) Molecular control of male reproductive development and pollen fertility in rice. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 54(12), 967–978.

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          Cell and Developmental Biology
A Kelch Motif-Containing Serine/Threonine Protein Phosphatase Determines the Large Grain QTL Trait in Rice
Author: Zejun Hu, Haohua He, Shiyong Zhang, Fan Sun, Xiaoyun Xin, Wenxiang Wang, Xi Qian, Jingshui Yang and Xiaojin Luo
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2012 54(12): 979-990
Published Online: December 11, 2012
DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12008

A thorough understanding of the genetic basis of rice grain traits is critical for the improvement of rice (Oryza sativa L.) varieties. In this study, we generated an F2 population by crossing the large-grain japonica cultivar CW23 with Peiai 64 (PA64), an elite indica small-grain cultivar. Using QTL analysis, 17 QTLs for five grain traits were detected on four different chromosomes. Eight of the QTLs were newly-identified in this study. In particular, qGL3-1, a newly-identified grain length QTL with the highest LOD value and largest phenotypic variation, was fine-mapped to the 17 kb region of chromosome 3. A serine/threonine protein phosphatase gene encoding a repeat domain containing two Kelch motifs was identified as the unique candidate gene corresponding to this QTL. A comparison of PA64 and CW23 sequences revealed a single nucleotide substitution (C→A) at position 1092 in exon 10, resulting in replacement of Asp (D) in PA64 with Glu (E) in CW23 for the 364th amino acid. This variation is located at the D position of the conserved sequence motif AVLDT of the Kelch repeat. Genetic analysis of a near-isogenic line (NIL) for qGL3-1 revealed that the allele qGL3-1 from CW23 has an additive or partly dominant effect, and is suitable for use in molecular marker-assisted selection.

Hu Z, He H, Zhang S, Sun F, Xin X, Wang W, Qian X, Yang J, Luo X (2012) A kelch motif-containing serine/threonine protein phosphatase determines the large grain QTL trait in rice. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 54(12), 979–990.

Abstract (Browse 1994)  |  References  |  Full Text HTML  |  Full Text PDF  |  Cited By       
          Plant-environmental Interactions
Hydrogen Peroxide-Mediated Growth of the Root System Occurs via Auxin Signaling Modification and Variations in the Expression of Cell-Cycle Genes in Rice Seedlings Exposed to Cadmium Stress
Author: Feng-Yun Zhao, Ming-Ming Han, Shi-Yong Zhang, Kai Wang, Cheng-Ren Zhang, Tao Liu and Wen Liu
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2012 54(12): 991-1006
Published Online: November 29, 2012
DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2012.01170.x

The link between root growth, H2O2, auxin signaling, and the cell cycle in cadmium (Cd)-stressed rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. Zhonghua No. 11) was analyzed in this study. Exposure to Cd induced a significant accumulation of Cd, but caused a decrease in zinc (Zn) content which resulted from the decreased expression of OsHMA9 and OsZIP. Analysis using a Cd-specific probe showed that Cd was mainly localized in the meristematic zone and vascular tissues. Formation and elongation of the root system were significantly promoted by 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole (AT), but were markedly inhibited by N,N’-dimethylthiourea (DMTU) under Cd stress. The effect of H2O2 on Cd-stressed root growth was further confirmed by examining a gain-of-function rice mutant (carrying catalase1 and glutathione-S-transferase) in the presence or absence of diphenylene iodonium. DR5-GUS staining revealed close associations between H2O2 and the concentration and distribution of auxin. H2O2 affected the expression of key genes, including OsYUCCA, OsPIN, OsARF, and OsIAA, in the auxin signaling pathway in Cd-treated plants. These results suggest that H2O2 functions upstream of the auxin signaling pathway. Furthermore, H2O2 modified the expression of cell-cycle genes in Cd-treated roots. The effects of H2O2 on root system growth are therefore linked to auxin signal modification and to variations in the expression of cell-cycle genes in Cd-stressed rice. A working model for the effects of H2O2 on Cd-stressed root system growth is thus proposed and discussed in this paper.

Zhao FY, Han MM, Zhang SY, Wang K, Zhang CR, Liu T, Liu W (2012) Hydrogen peroxide-mediated growth of the root system occurs via auxin signaling modification and variations in the expression of cell-cycle genes in rice seedlings exposed to cadmium stress. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 54(12), 991–1006.

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          Molecular Physiology
Dissecting Maize Productivity: Ideotypes Associated with Grain Yield under Drought Stress and Well-watered Conditions
Author: Jill E. Cairns, Ciro Sanchez, Mateo Vargas, Raziel Ordoñez and Jose Luis Araus
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2012 54(12): 1007-1020
Published Online: December 11, 2012
DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2012.01156.x

To increase maize (Zea mays L.) yields in drought-prone environments and offset predicted maize yield losses under future climates, the development of improved breeding pipelines using a multi-disciplinary approach is essential. Elucidating key growth processes will provide opportunities to improve drought breeding progress through the identification of key phenotypic traits, ideotypes, and donors. In this study, we tested a large set of tropical and subtropical maize inbreds and single cross hybrids under reproductive stage drought stress and well-watered conditions. Patterns of biomass production, senescence, and plant water status were measured throughout the crop cycle. Under drought stress, early biomass production prior to anthesis was important for inbred yield, while delayed senescence was important for hybrid yield. Under well-watered conditions, the ability to maintain a high biomass throughout the growing cycle was crucial for inbred yield, while a stay-green pattern was important for hybrid yield. While new quantitative phenotyping tools such as spectral reflectance (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, NDVI) allowed for the characterization of growth and senescence patterns as well as yield, qualitative measurements of canopy senescence were also found to be associated with grain yield.

Cairns JE, Sanchez C, Vargas M, Ordo˜nez R, Araus JL (2012) Dissecting maize productivity: Ideotypes associated with grain yield under drought stress and well-watered conditions. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 54(12), 1007–1020.

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