The RICE MINUTE-LIKE1 (RML1) gene, encoding a ribosomal large subunit protein L3B, regulates leaf morphology and plant architecture in rice

J Exp Bot. 2016 May;67(11):3457-69. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erw167.


Mutations of ribosomal proteins (RPs) are known to cause developmental abnormalities in yeast, mammals, and dicotyledonous plants; however, their effects have not been studied in rice. Here, we identifiy a ribosomal biogenesis mutant, rice minute-like1 (rml1) that displays a minute phenotype as evidenced by retarded growth and defects in the vascular system. We determine that RML1 encodes a ribosome large subunit protein 3B (RPL3B) in rice by means of map-based cloning and genetic complementation. RPL3B is abundantly expressed in all the tissues, whereas RPL3A, another RPL3 gene family member, is expressed at low levels. Notably, the expression level of RPL3A in the rml1 mutant is similar to that in the wild-type, suggesting that RPL3A provides no functional compensation for RPL3B in rml1 plants. Ribosomal profiles show that mutation of RPL3B leads to a significant reduction in free 60S ribosomal subunits and polysomes, indicating a ribosomal insufficiency in the rml1 mutant. Our results demonstrate that the ribosomal protein gene RPL3B is required for maintaining normal leaf morphology and plant architecture in rice through its regulation of ribosome biogenesis.

Keywords: Minute mutants; Oryza sativa; plant development; plant growth; ribosomal proteins; ribosome biogenesis; rice; vascular patterning..

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Oryza / anatomy & histology
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Plant Leaves / anatomy & histology
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Ribosomal Proteins / chemistry
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics*
  • Ribosomal Proteins / metabolism


  • Plant Proteins
  • Ribosomal Proteins