Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Biol. 2016 Apr 4;26(7):903-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.047. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

The INDETERMINATE DOMAIN Protein BROAD LEAF1 Limits Barley Leaf Width by Restricting Lateral Proliferation.

Author information

Institut für Biochemie und Biologie, Universität Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24-25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany.
Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung (IPK) Gatersleben, Corrensstrasse 3, 06466 Stadt Seeland, OT Gatersleben, Germany.
The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee DD2 5DA, Scotland, UK.
Institut für Biochemie und Biologie, Universität Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24-25, 14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany. Electronic address:


Variation in the size, shape, and positioning of leaves as the major photosynthetic organs strongly impacts crop yield, and optimizing these aspects is a central aim of cereal breeding [1, 2]. Leaf growth in grasses is driven by cell proliferation and cell expansion in a basal growth zone [3]. Although several factors influencing final leaf size and shape have been identified from rice and maize [4-14], what limits grass leaf growth in the longitudinal or transverse directions during leaf development remains poorly understood. To identify factors involved in this process, we characterized the barley mutant broad leaf1 (blf1). Mutants form wider but slightly shorter leaves due to changes in the numbers of longitudinal cell files and of cells along the leaf length. These differences arise during primordia outgrowth because of more cell divisions in the width direction increasing the number of cell files. Positional cloning, analysis of independent alleles, and transgenic complementation confirm that BLF1 encodes a presumed transcriptional regulator of the INDETERMINATE DOMAIN family. In contrast to loss-of-function mutants, moderate overexpression of BLF1 decreases leaf width below wild-type levels. A functional BLF1-vYFP fusion protein expressed from the endogenous promoter shows a dynamic expression pattern in the shoot apical meristem and young leaf primordia. Thus, we propose that the BLF1 gene regulates barley leaf size by restricting cell proliferation in the leaf-width direction. Given the agronomic importance of canopy traits in cereals, identifying functionally different BLF1 alleles promises to allow for the generation of optimized cereal ideotypes.


BROAD LEAF1; INDETERMINATE DOMAIN protein; barley; leaf growth; leaf shape

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center