Although the main genes in rice involved in the biosynthesis of secondary wall components have been characterized, the molecular mechanism underlying coordinated regulation of genes expression is not clear. In this study, we reported a new rice variety, cef1, showed the culm easily fragile (CEF) without other concomitant phenotypes. The CEF1 gene encodes a MYB family transcription factor OsMYB103L, was cloned based on map-based approach. Bioinformatics analyses indicated that CEF1 belongs to the R2R3-MYB subfamily and highly similar to Arabidopsis AtMYB103. Expression pattern analysis indicated that CEF1 is mainly expressed in internodes and panicles. Biochemical assays demonstrated that OsMYB103L is a nuclear protein and shows high transcriptional activation activity at C-terminus. OsMYB103L mediates cellulose biosynthesis and secondary walls formation mainly through directly binding the CESA4, CESA7, CESA9 and BC1 promoters and regulating their expression. OsMYB103L may also function as a master switch to regulate the expression of several downstream TFs, which involved in secondary cell wall biosynthesis. Furthermore, OsMYB103L physically interacts with SLENDER RICE1 (SLR1), a DELLA repressor of GA signaling, and involved in GA-mediated regulation of cellulose synthesis pathway. Our findings revealed that OsMYB103L plays an important role in GA-regulating secondary cell wall synthesis, and the manipulation of this gene provide a new strategy to help the straw decay in soil.
Keywords: Cellulose synthesis; MYB103L; Protein interaction; Rice; SLR1.