OsGRF4 controls grain shape, panicle length and seed shattering in rice

J Integr Plant Biol. 2016 Oct;58(10):836-847. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12473. Epub 2016 Jun 9.


Traits such as grain shape, panicle length and seed shattering, play important roles in grain yield and harvest. In this study, the cloning and functional analysis of PANICLE TRAITS 2 (PT2), a novel gene from the Indica rice Chuandali (CDL), is reported. PT2 is synonymous with Growth-Regulating Factor 4 (OsGRF4), which encodes a growth-regulating factor that positively regulates grain shape and panicle length and negatively regulates seed shattering. Higher expression of OsGRF4 is correlated with larger grain, longer panicle and lower seed shattering. A unique OsGRF4 mutation, which occurs at the OsmiRNA396 target site of OsGRF4, seems to be associated with high levels of OsGRF4 expression, and results in phenotypic difference. Further research showed that OsGRF4 regulated two cytokinin dehydrogenase precursor genes (CKX5 and CKX1) resulting in increased cytokinin levels, which might affect the panicle traits. High storage capacity and moderate seed shattering of OsGRF4 may be useful in high-yield breeding and mechanized harvesting of rice. Our findings provide additional insight into the molecular basis of panicle growth.

Keywords: High-yield breeding; OsmiRNA396; mechanized harvesting; panicle traits; plant growth regulator.

MeSH terms

  • Cytokinins / metabolism
  • Edible Grain / genetics
  • Edible Grain / growth & development*
  • Edible Grain / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Oryza / growth & development*
  • Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / growth & development
  • Seeds / metabolism


  • Cytokinins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Oxidoreductases
  • cytokinin oxidase