J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2016, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (12): 983-996.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12503

Special Issue: Rice Genomics and Agriculture

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles    

NARROW AND ROLLED LEAF 2 regulates leaf shape, male fertility, and seed size in rice

Shuangshuang Zhao1, Lei Zhao1,2, Fengxia Liu1,2, Yongzhen Wu1, Zuofeng Zhu1, Chuanqing Sun1,2 and Lubin Tan1*   

  1. 1National Center for Evaluation of Agricultural Wild Plants (Rice), Beijing Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Laboratory of Crop Heterosis and Utilization, MOE, Department of Plant Genetics and Breeding, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    2State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
  • Received:2016-08-14 Accepted:2016-10-18 Published:2016-10-20
  • About author:*Correspondence: E-mail: Lubin Tan (tlb9@cau.edu.cn)


Grain yield in rice (Oryza sativa L.) is closely related to leaf and flower development. Coordinative regulation of leaf, pollen, and seed development in rice as a critical biological and agricultural question should be addressed. Here we identified two allelic rice mutants with narrow and semi-rolled leaves, named narrow and rolled leaf 2-1 (nrl2-1) and nrl2-2. Map-based molecular cloning revealed that NRL2 encodes a novel protein with unknown biochemical function. The mutation of NRL2 caused pleiotropic effects, including a reduction in the number of longitudinal veins, defective abaxial sclerenchymatous cell differentiation, abnormal tapetum degeneration and microspore development, and the formation of more slender seeds compared with the wild type (WT). The NRL2 protein interacted with Rolling-leaf (RL14), causing the leaves of the nrl2 mutants to have a higher cellulose content and lower lignin content than the WT, which may have been related to sclerenchymatous cell differentiation and tapetum degeneration. Thus, this gene is an essential developmental regulator controlling fundamental cellular and developmental processes, serving as a potential breeding target for high-yielding rice cultivars.

Key words: nrl2, narrow and rolled leaf, sclerenchymatous cell, male fertility, seed size, secondary cell wall

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