[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The meristem initiates lateral organs in a regular manner, and proper communication between the meristem and the lateral organs ensures the normal development of plants. Here, we show that mutation of the rice (Oryza sativa) gene TONGARI-BOUSHI1 (TOB1) results in pleiotropic phenotypes in spikelets, such as the formation of a cone-shaped organ instead of the lemma or palea, the development of two florets in a spikelet, or premature termination of the floret meristem, in addition to reduced growth of the lemma or palea and elongation of the awn. These phenotypes seem to result from not only failure in growth of the lateral organs, but also defects in maintenance and organization of the meristem. For example, the cone-shaped organ develops as a ring-like primordium from an initial stage, suggesting that regulation of organ initiation in the meristem may be compromised. TOB1 encodes a YABBY protein, which is closely related to FILAMENTOUS FLOWER in Arabidopsis thaliana, and is expressed in the lateral organ primordia without any patterns of polarization. No TOB1 expression is detected in the meristem, so TOB1 may act non-cell autonomously to maintain proper meristem organization and is therefore likely to play an important role in rice spikelet development.
The Plant Cell 01/2012; 24(1):80-95. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Post-embryonic development depends on the activity of meristems in plants, and thus control of cell fate in the meristem is crucial to plant development and its architecture. In grasses such as rice and maize, the fate of reproductive meristems changes from indeterminate meristems, such as inflorescence and branch meristems, to determinate meristems, such as the spikelet meristem. Here we analyzed a recessive mutant of rice, aberrant spikelet and panicle1 (asp1), that showed pleiotropic phenotypes such as a disorganized branching pattern, aberrant spikelet morphology, and disarrangement of phyllotaxy. Close examination revealed that regulation of meristem fate was compromised in asp1: degeneration of the inflorescence meristem was delayed, transition from the branch meristem to the spikelet meristem was accelerated, and stem cell maintenance in both the branch meristem and the spikelet meristem was compromised. The genetic program was also disturbed in terms of spikelet development. Gene isolation revealed that ASP1 encodes a transcriptional co-repressor that is related to TOPLESS (TPL) in Arabidopsis and RAMOSA ENHANCER LOCUS2 (REL2) in maize. It is likely that the pleiotropic defects are associated with de-repression of multiple genes related to meristem function in the asp1 mutant. The asp1 mutant also showed de-repression of axillary bud growth and disturbed phyllotaxy in the vegetative phase, suggesting that the function of this gene is closely associated with auxin action. Consistent with these observations and the molecular function of Arabidopsis TPL, auxin signaling was also compromised in the rice asp1 mutant. Taken together, these results indicate that ASP1 regulates various aspects of developmental processes and physiological responses as a transcriptional co-repressor in rice.
The Plant Journal 12/2011; 70(2):327-39. · 6.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanism of floral organ specification is principally conserved in angiosperms, as demonstrated by the ABC model. By contrast, mechanisms that regulate the development of organs or structures specific to a group of species remain unclear. Grasses have unique inflorescence units, comprising spikelets and florets. In the genus Oryza (rice), the single spikelet consists of a fertile floret subtended by a lemma and a palea, two sterile lemmas, and rudimentary glumes. Each sterile lemma is a tiny glume-like organ with a smooth surface. Here, we have examined a long sterile lemma1 (g1) mutant, in which the sterile lemma is enlarged like the lemma. Detailed phenotypic analysis reveals that the large sterile lemma in the g1 mutant appears to be caused by homeotic transformation of the sterile lemma into a lemma, suggesting that G1 is involved in the repression of lemma identity to specify the sterile lemma. Gene isolation reveals that G1 is a member of a plant-specific gene family that encodes proteins with a previously uncharacterized domain, named here ALOG (Arabidopsis LSH1 and Oryza G1). G1 mRNA is expressed in sterile lemma primordia throughout their development, and G1 protein is localized in the nucleus. A trans-activation assay using the yeast GAL4 system suggests that G1 is involved in transcriptional regulation. Repression of lemma identity by G1 is consistent with a hypothesis proposed to explain the morphological evolution of rice spikelets. We also show that a wild rice species, Oryza grandiglumis, that forms large sterile lemmas has serious mutations in the G1 gene.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2009; 106(47):20103-8. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CLAVATA signaling restricts stem cell identity in the shoot apical meristem (SAM) in Arabidopsis thaliana. In rice (Oryza sativa), FLORAL ORGAN NUMBER2 (FON2), closely related to CLV3, is involved as a signaling molecule in a similar pathway to negatively regulate stem cell proliferation in the floral meristem (FM). Here we show that the FON2 SPARE1 (FOS1) gene encoding a CLE protein functions along with FON2 in maintenance of the FM. In addition, FOS1 appears to be involved in maintenance of the SAM in the vegetative phase, because constitutive expression of FOS1 caused termination of the vegetative SAM. Genetic analysis revealed that FOS1 does not need FON1, the putative receptor of FON2, for its action, suggesting that FOS1 and FON2 may function in meristem maintenance as signaling molecules in independent pathways. Initially, we identified FOS1 as a suppressor that originates from O. sativa indica and suppresses the fon2 mutation in O. sativa japonica. FOS1 function in japonica appears to be compromised by a functional nucleotide polymorphism (FNP) at the putative processing site of the signal peptide. Sequence comparison of FOS1 in about 150 domesticated rice and wild rice species indicates that this FNP is present only in japonica, suggesting that redundant regulation by FOS1 and FON2 is commonplace in species in the Oryza genus. Distribution of the FNP also suggests that this mutation may have occurred during the divergence of japonica from its wild ancestor. Stem cell maintenance may be regulated by at least three negative pathways in rice, and each pathway may contribute differently to this regulation depending on the type of the meristem. This situation contrasts with that in Arabidopsis, where CLV signaling is the major single pathway in all meristems.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Postembryonic development in plants depends on the activity of the shoot apical meristem (SAM) and root apical meristem (RAM). In Arabidopsis thaliana, CLAVATA signaling negatively regulates the size of the stem cell population in the SAM by repressing WUSCHEL. In other plants, however, studies of factors involved in stem cell maintenance are insufficient. Here, we report that two proteins closely related to CLAVATA3, FLORAL ORGAN NUMBER2 (FON2) and FON2-LIKE CLE PROTEIN1 (FCP1/Os CLE402), have functionally diversified to regulate the different types of meristem in rice (Oryza sativa). Unlike FON2, which regulates the maintenance of flower and inflorescence meristems, FCP1 appears to regulate the maintenance of the vegetative SAM and RAM. Constitutive expression of FCP1 results in consumption of the SAM in the vegetative phase, and application of an FCP1 CLE peptide in vitro disturbs root development by misspecification of cell fates in the RAM. FON1, a putative receptor of FON2, is likely to be unnecessary for these FCP1 functions. Furthermore, we identify a key amino acid residue that discriminates between the actions of FCP1 and FON2. Our results suggest that, although the basic framework of meristem maintenance is conserved in the angiosperms, the functions of the individual factors have diversified during evolution.
The Plant Cell 09/2008; 20(8):2049-58. · 9.25 Impact Factor