J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2019, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (11): 1171-1185.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12745

• Plant-abiotic Interactions • Previous Articles    

GW5-Like, a homolog of GW5, negatively regulates grain width, weight and salt resistance in rice

Peng Tian1†, Jiafan Liu1†, Changling Mou2, Cuilan Shi1, Huan Zhang2, Zhichao Zhao1, Qibin Lin1, Jie Wang1, Jiulin Wang1, Xin Zhang1, Xiuping Guo1, Zhijun Cheng1, Shanshan Zhu1, Yulong Ren1*, Cailin Lei1*, Haiyang Wang1 and Jianmin Wan1,2   

  1. 1Institute of Crop Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Agriculture Sciences/National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Beijing 100081, China
    2Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement/Jiangsu Provincial Center of Plant Gene Engineering, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China

    These authors contributed equally to this work
    Email: Yulong Ren (renyulong@caas.cn); Cailin Lei (leicailin@caas.cn, Dr. Lei is fully responsible for the distribution of all materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2018-08-17 Accepted:2018-11-09 Online:2018-11-19 Published:2019-11-01


Grain size is an important determinant of yield potential in crops. We previously demonstrated that natural mutations in the regulatory sequences of qSW5/GW5 confer grain width diversity in rice. However, the biological function of a GW5 homolog, named GW5‐Like (GW5L), remains unknown. In this study, we report on GW5L knockout mutants in Kitaake, a japonica cultivar (cv.) considered to have a weak gw5 variant allele that confers shorter and wider grains. GW5L is evenly expressed in various tissues, and its protein product is localized to the plasma membrane. Biochemical assays verified that GW5L functions in a similar fashion to GW5. It positively regulates brassinosteroid (BR) signaling through repression of the phosphorylation activity of GSK2. Genetic data show that GW5L overexpression in either Kitaake or a GW5 knockout line, Kasaorf3 (indica cv. Kasalath background), causes more slender, longer grains relative to the wild‐type. We also show that GW5L could confer salt stress resistance through an association with calmodulin protein OsCaM1‐1. These findings identify GW5L as a negative regulator of both grain size and salt stress tolerance, and provide a potential target for breeders to improve grain yield and salt stress resistance in rice.

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