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Overexpression of a Type-A Response Regulator Alters Rice Morphology and Cytokinin Metabolism

Hirose, Naoya, Makita, Nobue, Kojima, Mikiko, Kamada-Nobusada, Tomoe, Sakakibara, Hitoshi
Plant & cell physiology 2007 v.48 no.3 pp. 523-539
Oryza sativa, gene expression regulation, gene overexpression, genes, hormone metabolism, inflorescences, phenotype, protein synthesis, rice, root systems, shoots, stress response, transgenic plants, zeatin
Genome-wide analyses of rice (Oryza sativa L.) cytokinin (CK)-responsive genes using the Affymetrix GeneChip® rice genome array were conducted to define the spectrum of genes subject to regulation by CK in monocotyledonous plants. Application of trans-zeatin modulated the expression of a wide variety of genes including those involved in hormone signaling and metabolism, transcriptional regulation, macronutrient transport and protein synthesis. To understand further the function of CK in rice plants, we examined the effects of in planta manipulation of a putative CK signaling factor on morphology, CK metabolism and expression of CK-responsive genes. Overexpression of the CK-inducible type-A response regulator OsRR6 abolished shoot regeneration, suggesting that OsRR6 acts as a negative regulator of CK signaling. Transgenic lines overexpressing OsRR6 (OsRR6-ox) had dwarf phenotypes with poorly developed root systems and panicles. Increased content of trans-zeatin-type CKs in OsRR6-ox lines indicates that homeostatic control of CK levels is regulated by OsRR6 signaling. Expression of genes encoding CK oxidase/dehydrogenase decreased in OsRR6-ox plants, possibly accounting for elevated CK levels in transgenic lines. Expression of a number of stress response genes was also altered in OsRR6-ox plants.