Rice RBH1 Encoding A Pectate Lyase is Critical for Apical Panicle Development
Abstract: Panicle morphology is one of the main determinants of the rice yield. Panicle abortion, a typical panicle morphological defect results in yield reduction due to defective spikelet development. To further elucidate the molecular mechanism of panicle abortion in rice, a rice panicle bald head 1 (rbh1) mutant with transfer DNA (T-DNA) insertion showing severely aborted apical spikelets during panicle development was identified and characterized. The rbh1-1 mutant showed obviously altered cell morphology and structure in the degenerated spikelet. Molecular genetic studies revealed that RBH1 encodes a pectate lyase protein. Pectate lyase-specific activity of Rice panicle Bald Head 1 (RBH1) protein assay using polygalacturonic acid (PGA) as substrates illustrated that the enzyme retained a significant capacity to degrade PGA. In addition, immunohistochemical analysis showed that the degradation of pectin is inhibited in the rbh1-1 mutant. Further analysis revealed that a significant increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) level was found in degenerated rbh1-1 spikelets. Taken together, our findings suggest that RBH1 is required for the formation of panicle and for preventing panicle abortion.
Keywords: rice / RBH1 / panicle development / pectate lyase / ROS
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