J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2017, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (9): 693-707.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12594

Special Issue: Sexual Reproductions

• Research Articles • Previous Articles    

Regulatory network and genetic interactions established by OsMADS34 in rice inflorescence and spikelet morphogenesis

Qingcai Meng1, Xiaofeng Li1, Wanwan Zhu1, Li Yang1, Wanqi Liang1, Ludovico Dreni1,2* and Dabing Zhang1,3*   

  1. 1Joint International Research Laboratory of Metabolic & Developmental Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Hybrid Rice, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and University of Adelaide Joint Centre for Agriculture and Health, School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
    2Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Valencia 46022, Spain
    3School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, Urrbrae, SA 5064, Australia
  • Received:2017-08-04 Accepted:2017-08-25 Published:2017-08-26
  • About author:**Correspondences: E-mail: Ludovico Dreni (ludovico.dreni@gmail.com); Dabing Zhang (zhangdb@sjtu.edu.cn, Prof. Zhang is fully responsible for the distribution of all materials associated with this article)


Grasses display highly diversified inflorescence architectures that differ in the arrangement of spikelets and flowers and determine cereal yields. However, the molecular basis underlying grass inflorescence morphogenesis remains largely unknown. Here we investigate the role of a functionally diversified SEPALLATA MADS-box transcription factor, OsMADS34, in regulating rice (Oryza sativa L.) inflorescence and spikelet development. Microarray analysis showed that, at the very early stages of inflorescence formation, dysfunction of OsMADS34 caused altered expression of 379 genes that are associated with protein modification and degradation, transcriptional regulation, signaling and metabolism activity. Genetic analysis revealed that OsMADS34 controls different aspects of inflorescence structure, branching and meristem activity synergistically with LAX PANICLE1 (LAX1) and FLORAL ORGAN NUMBER4 (FON4), as evidenced by the enhanced phenotypes of osmads34 lax1 and osmads34 fon4 compared with the single mutants. Additionally, double mutant between osmads34 and the sterile lemma defective mutant elongated empty glume (ele) displayed an enhanced phenotype, that is, longer and wider sterile lemmas that were converted into lemma/palea-like organs, suggesting that ELE and OsMADS34 synergistically control the sterile lemma development. OsMADS34 may act together with OsMADS15 in controlling sterile lemma development. Collectively, these findings provide insights into the regulatory function of OsMADS34 in rice inflorescence and spikelet development.

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