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PLoS One. 2008;3(10):e3521. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003521. Epub 2008 Oct 27.

OsLIC, a Novel CCCH-Type Zinc Finger Protein with Transcription Activation, Mediates Rice Architecture via Brassinosteroids Signaling.

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Key Laboratory of Photosynthesis and Environmental Molecular Physiology, Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.


Rice architecture is an important agronomic trait and a major limiting factor for its high productivity. Here we describe a novel CCCH-type zinc finger gene, OsLIC (Oraza sativaleaf and tiller angle increased controller), which is involved in the regulation of rice plant architecture. OsLIC encoded an ancestral and unique CCCH type zinc finge protein. It has many orthologous in other organisms, ranging from yeast to humane. Suppression of endogenous OsLIC expression resulted in drastically increased leaf and tiller angles, shortened shoot height, and consequently reduced grain production in rice. OsLIC is predominantly expressed in rice collar and tiller bud. Genetic analysis suggested that OsLIC is epistatic to d2-1, whereas d61-1 is epistatic to OsLIC. Interestingly, sterols were significantly higher in level in transgenic shoots than in the wild type. Genome-wide expression analysis indicated that brassinosteroids (BRs) signal transduction was activated in transgenic lines. Moreover, transcription of OsLIC was induced by 24-epibrassinolide. OsLIC, with a single CCCH motif, displayed binding activity to double-stranded DNA and single-stranded polyrA, polyrU and polyrG but not polyrC. It contains a novel conserved EELR domain among eukaryotes and displays transcriptional activation activity in yeast. OsLIC may be a transcription activator to control rice plant architecture.

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