Deoxycytidine monophosphate deaminase (DCD) is a key enzyme in the de novo
deoxythymidine triphosphate (dTTP) synthesis. DCD is known to play key roles
in cell cycle progression, and plant development. However, not much is known
of the function of the DCD gene in Panicoideae plants. Setaria is an ideal
model of Panicoideae grasses, especially for C4 photosynthesis research.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences studied a
foxtail millet (Setaria italica) stripe leaf mutant, sistl2. The sistl2
mutant exhibited semi-dwarfism, striped leaves, abnormal chloroplast
structure, and delayed cell cycle progression compared with its wildtype
The researchers, which were led by Shuo Zhang and Sha Tang, identified the
causal gene SiSTL2, which encodes a DCD protein. Further analysis indicated
that SiSTL2 plays a role in the regulation of chloroplast biogenesis, cell
cycle, and DNA replication, which suggested that the gene has similar
functions in both foxtail millet and rice.
This study provides in-depth knowledge of the role of DCD in the C4
photosynthesis of model plant Setaria.