The Germin-like protein OsGER4 is involved in promoting crown root development under exogenous jasmonic acid treatment in rice

Plant J. 2022 Nov;112(3):860-874. doi: 10.1111/tpj.15987. Epub 2022 Oct 11.


In rice (Oryza sativa L.), crown roots (CRs) have many important roles in processes such as root system expansion, water and mineral uptake, and adaptation to environmental stresses. Phytohormones such as auxin, cytokinin, and ethylene are known to control CR initiation and development in rice. However, the role of jasmonic acid (JA) in CR development remained elusive. Here, we report that JA promotes CR development by regulating OsGER4, a rice Germin-like protein. Root phenotyping analysis revealed that exogenous JA treatment induced an increase in CR number in a concentration-dependent manner. A subsequent genome-wide association study and gene expression analyses pinpointed a strong association between the Germin-like protein OsGER4 and the increase in CR number under exogenous JA treatment. The ProGER4::GUS reporter line showed that OsGER4 is a hormone-responsive gene involved in various stress responses, mainly confined to epidermal and vascular tissues during CR primordia development and to vascular bundles of mature crown and lateral roots. Notable changes in OsGER4 expression patterns caused by the polar auxin transport inhibitor NPA support its connection to auxin signaling. Phenotyping experiments with OsGER4 knockout mutants confirmed that this gene is required for CR development under exogenous JA treatment. Overall, our results provide important insights into JA-mediated regulation of CR development in rice.

Keywords: Genome Wide Association study; Germin-like protein; Oryza sativa L. (rice); abiotic stress; crown root; jasmonates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism
  • Oryza* / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / metabolism


  • germin
  • jasmonic acid
  • Plant Proteins
  • Indoleacetic Acids