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Mol Genet Genomics. 2008 May;279(5):499-507. doi: 10.1007/s00438-008-0328-3.

NARROW LEAF 7 controls leaf shape mediated by auxin in rice.

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Agricultural Research Institute, HOKUREN Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives, Higashi-5, Kita-15, Naganuma, Hokkaido 0691317, Japan.


Elucidation of the genetic basis of the control of leaf shape could be of use in the manipulation of crop traits, leading to more stable and increased crop production. To improve our understanding of the process controlling leaf shape, we identified a mutant gene in rice that causes a significant decrease in the width of the leaf blade, termed narrow leaf 7 (nal7). This spontaneous mutation of nal7 occurred during the process of developing advanced back-crossed progeny derived from crosses of rice varieties with wild type leaf phenotype. While the mutation resulted in reduced leaf width, no significant morphological changes at the cellular level in leaves were observed, except in bulli-form cells. The NAL7 locus encodes a flavin-containing monooxygenase, which displays sequence homology with YUCCA. Inspection of a structural model of NAL7 suggests that the mutation results in an inactive enzyme. The IAA content in the nal7 mutant was altered compared with that of wild type. The nal7 mutant overexpressing NAL7 cDNA exhibited overgrowth and abnormal morphology of the root, which was likely to be due to auxin overproduction. These results indicate that NAL7 is involved in auxin biosynthesis.

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