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NAL8 Contributes to Leaf and Spikelet Development in Rice
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: October 21, 2019 06:22AM

Researchers identified a protein complex that plays vital roles in many
developmental processes, including development of normal leaf width and
spikelet number at the reproductive stage in rice. The functions were
confirmed in transgenic plants using CRISPR-Cas9 system, RNAi gene silencing
system, and overexpressing system. The results are published in BMC Plant

Leaf morphology and spikelet number are two important traits linked with
grain yield. Understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate the two
traits would be vital in the improvement of cereal crops. Chinese Academic
of Sciences researchers identified a prohibitin complex 2 subunit, NAL8,
which contributes to multiple developmental process and is required for
normal leaf width and spikelet number at the reproductive stage in rice.
Using CRISPR-Cas9, RNAi, and overexpressing systems, they found that
mutation of NAL8 causes a reduction in cell division. The auxin levels in
the nal8 mutants were higher than the control, while cytokinin
concentrations were lower. Further analyses showed that NAL8 is involved in
several hormone signaling pathways as well as photosynthesis in chloroplasts
and respiration in mitochondria.

Based on the results of the study, it was concluded that NAL8 works as a
molecular chaperone in controlling plant leaf morphology and spikelet


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