Ectopic Expression of OsExtensin-like Gene in Rice Enhances Plant Lodging Resistance
Plant lodging resistance is an important agronomic trait for grain yield and
quality in crops. Extensin proteins are associated with plant cell growth
and cell wall construction. However, little has yet been reported on their
effect on on plant lodging resistance. A team from Huazhong Agricultural
University in China, led by Chunfen Fan, isolated a novel extensin-like
(OsEXTL) gene in rice, and expressed it in transgenic rice plants under two
The two-promoter-driven OsEXTL-transgenic plants exhibited significantly
reduced cell elongation in stem internodes, leading to relatively shorter
plants compared to wild types. The transgenic plants also showed remarkably
thickened secondary cell walls with higher cellulose levels in the mature
plants, resulting in significantly increased mechanical strength.
Due to reduced plant height and increased plant mechanical strength, the
OsEXTL-transgenic plants had enhanced lodging resistances compared to those
of the rice cultivar ZH11. The OsEXTL-transgenic plants also maintained
normal grain yields and biomass production.
This study demonstrates an improved lodging resistance in the
OsEXTL-transgenic rice plants, and provides insights into extensin function
in plant growth and development.