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Plant Mol Biol. 2014 Feb;84(3):243-57. doi: 10.1007/s11103-013-0129-x. Epub 2013 Nov 9.

The maize d2003, a novel allele of VP8, is required for maize internode elongation.

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Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhongguancun South Street 12, Beijing, 100081, China.


The d2003 is a natural dwarf mutant from maize inbred line K36 and has less than one-third of K36 plant height with severely shortened internodes. In this study, we reported the cloning of d2003 gene using positional cloning. The results showed that there was a single-base insertion in the coding region of Viviparous8 (VP8) in d2003 mutant, which resulted in a premature stop codon. Further genetic allelism tests confirmed that d2003 mutation is a novel allele of VP8. VP8 is mainly expressed in the stem apex, young leaves, and developing vascular tissues, and its expression levels in nodes are significantly higher than that in internodes at 12-leaf stage. Subcellular localization demonstrated that the VP8 protein is localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and the N-terminal 26 amino acids (aa) of VP8 protein are essential to its localization in ER. Further transgenic experiments showed that lack of the 26 aa leads to loss of VP8 function in Arabidopsis amp1 phenotype rescue. These results strongly suggested that the N-terminal 26 aa is critical for VP8 protein localization, and the correct protein localization of VP8 in ER is necessary for its function.

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