Background: Rice leaves are important energy source for the whole plant. An optimal structure will be beneficial for rice leaves to capture light energy and exchange gas, thus increasing the yield of rice. Moderate leaf rolling and relatively erect plant architecture may contribute to high yield of rice, but the relevant molecular mechanism remains unclear. Results: In this study, we identified and characterized a rolling and erect leaf mutant in rice and named it as rel2. Histological analysis showed that the rel2 mutant has increased number of bulliform cells and reduced size of middle bulliform cells. We firstly mapped REL2 to a 35-kb physical region of chromosome 10 by map-based cloning strategy. Further analysis revealed that REL2 encodes a protein containing DUF630 and DUF632 domains. In rel2 mutant, the mutation of two nucleotide substitutions in DUF630 domain led to the loss-of-function of REL2 locus and the function of REL2 could be confirmed by complementary expression of REL2 in rel2 mutant. Further studies showed that REL2 protein is mainly distributed along the plasma membrane of cells and the REL2 gene is relatively higher expressed in younger leaves of rice. The results from quantitative RT-PCR analysis indicated that REL2 functioning in the leaf shape formation might have functional linkage with many genes associated with the bulliform cells development, auxin synthesis and transport, etc. Conclusions: REL2 is the DUF domains contained protein which involves in the control of leaf rolling in rice. It is the plasma membrane localization and its functions in the control of leaf morphology might involve in multiple biological processes such as bulliform cell development and auxin synthesis and transport.
Yang, S. Q., Li, W. Q., Miao, H., Gan, P. F., Qiao, L., Chang, Y. L., … Chen, K. M. (2016). REL2, A Gene Encoding An Unknown Function Protein which Contains DUF630 and DUF632 Domains Controls Leaf Rolling in Rice. Rice, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12284-016-0105-6