DEP and AFO regulate reproductive habit in rice

PLoS Genet. 2010 Jan 22;6(1):e1000818. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000818.

Abstract

Sexual reproduction is essential for the life cycle of most angiosperms. However, pseudovivipary is an important reproductive strategy in some grasses. In this mode of reproduction, asexual propagules are produced in place of sexual reproductive structures. However, the molecular mechanism of pseudovivipary still remains a mystery. In this work, we found three naturally occurring mutants in rice, namely, phoenix (pho), degenerative palea (dep), and abnormal floral organs (afo). Genetic analysis of them indicated that the stable pseudovivipary mutant pho was a double mutant containing both a Mendelian mutation in DEP and a non-Mendelian mutation in AFO. Further map-based cloning and microarray analysis revealed that dep mutant was caused by a genetic alteration in OsMADS15 while afo was caused by an epigenetic mutation in OsMADS1. Thus, OsMADS1 and OsMADS15 are both required to ensure sexual reproduction in rice and mutations of them lead to the switch of reproductive habit from sexual to asexual in rice. For the first time, our results reveal two regulators for sexual and asexual reproduction modes in flowering plants. In addition, our findings also make it possible to manipulate the reproductive strategy of plants, at least in rice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / physiology*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Reproduction
  • Reproduction, Asexual

Substances

  • Plant Proteins