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Genes (Basel). 2019 Mar 13;10(3). pii: E214. doi: 10.3390/genes10030214.

Decreased Spikelets 4 Encoding a Novel Tetratricopeptide Repeat Domain-Containing Protein Is Involved in DNA Repair and Spikelet Number Determination in Rice.

Author information

1
State Key Lab of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 311400, China. asen1225@126.com.
2
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20037, USA. lizzh07@hotmail.com.
3
State Key Lab of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 311400, China. yingjiancheng1@126.com.
4
State Key Lab of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 311400, China. zhangjian@caas.cn.
5
State Key Lab of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 311400, China. chqhzfy@126.com.

Abstract

Spikelet number per panicle is a determinative factor of rice yield. DNA repair epigenetically alters the DNA accessibility, which can eventually regulate the transcription of the target genes. However, what and how DNA repair genes are related to rice spikelet development remains unknown. Here, we report the map-based cloning of a novel spikelet number gene DES4 encoding a tetratricopeptide domain-containing protein. DES4 is a close ortholog of Arabidopsis BRU1, which is functionally related to axillary meristem development. A single base pair deletion in the last exon of DES4 caused a premature stop of the resulting protein. The des4 mutant exhibited dwarf, reduced tiller, and spikelet numbers phenotypes, as well as hypersensitivity to genotoxic stresses, suggesting its essential role in DNA repair. DES4 is predominantly expressed in young panicles and axillary meristems, and DES4 protein is localized in nucleus. A set of DNA repair genes such as cyclins, KUs (KD subunits) and recombinases were differentially regulated in des4. Meanwhile, rice spikelet number genes LAX1, LAX2, and MOC1 were significantly down-regulated in des4. In morphology, des4 showed more severe reduction of spikelet numbers than lax1, lax2, and moc1, suggesting that DES4 may work upstream of the three genes.

KEYWORDS:

DNA repair; LRR (leucine-rich repeat); rice (Oryza sativa L.); spikelet number; tetratricopeptide

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