Leaf morphology, particularly in crop, is one of the most important agronomic traits because it influences the yield through the manipulation of photosynthetic capacity and transpiration. To understand the regulatory mechanism of leaf morphogenesis, an Oryza sativa dominant mutant, rolled and erect leaf 1 (rel1) has been characterized. This mutant has a predominant rolled leaf, increased leaf angle, and reduced plant height phenotype that results in a reduction in grain yield. Electron microscope observations indicated that the leaf incurvations of rel1 dominant mutants result from the alteration of the size and number of bulliform cells. Molecular cloning revealed that the rel1 dominant mutant phenotype is caused by the activation of the REL1 gene, which encodes a novel unknown protein, despite its high degree of conservation among monocot plants. Moreover, the downregulation of the REL1 gene in the rel1 dominant mutant restored the phenotype of this dominant mutant. Alternatively, overexpression of REL1 in wild-type plants induced a phenotype similar to that of the dominant rel1 mutant, indicating that REL1 plays a positive role in leaf rolling and bending. Consistent with the observed rel1 phenotype, the REL1 gene was predominantly expressed in the meristem of various tissues during plant growth and development. Nevertheless, the responsiveness of both rel1 dominant mutants and REL1-overexpressing plants to exogenous brassinosteroid (BR) was reduced. Moreover, transcript levels of BR response genes in the rel1 dominant mutants and REL1-overexpressing lines were significantly altered. Additionally, seven REL1-interacting proteins were also identified from a yeast two-hybrid screen. Taken together, these findings suggest that REL1 regulates leaf morphology, particularly in leaf rolling and bending, through the coordination of BR signalling transduction.
Keywords: BR; BiFC; erect leaf; rice; rolled leaf; yeast two hybrid..
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.