OsWOX3A Is Involved in Negative Feedback Regulation of the Gibberellic Acid Biosynthetic Pathway in Rice (Oryza Sativa)

J Exp Bot. 2016 Mar;67(6):1677-87. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv559. Epub 2016 Jan 14.


The plant-specific WUSCHEL-related homeobox (WOX) nuclear proteins have important roles in the transcriptional regulation of many developmental processes. Among the rice (Oryza sativa) WOX proteins, a loss of OsWOX3A function in narrow leaf2 (nal2) nal3 double mutants (termed nal2/3) causes pleiotropic effects, such as narrow and curly leaves, opened spikelets, narrow grains, more tillers, and fewer lateral roots, but almost normal plant height. To examine OsWOX3A function in more detail, transgenic rice overexpressing OsWOX3A (OsWOX3A-OX) were generated; unexpectedly, all of them consistently exhibited severe dwarfism with very short and wide leaves, a phenotype that resembles that of gibberellic acid (GA)-deficient or GA-insensitive mutants. Exogenous GA3 treatment fully rescued the developmental defects of OsWOX3A-OX plants, suggesting that constitutive overexpression of OsWOX3A downregulates GA biosynthesis. Quantitative analysis of GA intermediates revealed significantly reduced levels of GA20 and bioactive GA1 in OsWOX3A-OX, possibly due to downregulation of the expression of KAO, which encodes ent-kaurenoic acid oxidase, a GA biosynthetic enzyme. Yeast one-hybrid and electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed that OsWOX3A directly interacts with the KAO promoter. OsWOX3A expression is drastically and temporarily upregulated by GA3 and downregulated by paclobutrazol, a blocker of GA biosynthesis. These data indicate that OsWOX3A is a GA-responsive gene and functions in the negative feedback regulation of the GA biosynthetic pathway for GA homeostasis to maintain the threshold levels of endogenous GA intermediates throughout development.

Keywords: Dwarfism; KAO; OsWOX3A; electrophoretic mobility shift assay; gibberellic acid; negative feedback regulation; rice..

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Biosynthetic Pathways* / drug effects
  • Biosynthetic Pathways* / genetics
  • Feedback, Physiological* / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Gibberellins / biosynthesis*
  • Gibberellins / pharmacology
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Organ Specificity / drug effects
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • Oryza / drug effects
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / metabolism*
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Triazoles / pharmacology


  • Gibberellins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Triazoles
  • paclobutrazol
  • gibberellic acid