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This gene (LP) plays an important role in regulating plant architecture, particularly in regulating panicle architecture, thereby representing promising targets for genetic improvement of grain production plants. Map-based cloning reveals that LARGER PANICLE (LP) encodes a Kelch repeat-containing F-box protein. LP is an F-box protein and could interact with rice SKP1-like protein in an F-box domain-dependent manner.[1]


Ming Li reports herein an in-depth characterization of two allelic larger panicle (lp) mutants that show significantly increased panicle size as well as improved plant architecture. Morphological analyses reveal that panicles of two mutants produced more inflorescence branches, especially the primary branches, and contained more grains. Moreover, mutant plants also display more lodging resistance than the wild type. The grain yield per plant in mutants is also increased, suggesting that mutant plants have useful potential for high grain yield in rice breeding.


Results revealed that the LP expression level is high in culms, medium in leaf sheaths, SAM and panicles and low in leaves and roots (Figure 4a). With an emphasis on the panicle, analysis of the LP expression at different stages of panicle development was also performed by qRT-PCR. The results showed that LP was more richly transcribed in a young panicle, but its expression decreased gradually with the increasing stages of panicle development (Figure 4b). The transcription of LP in young panicles at early differentiation stages was further examined by mRNA in situ hybridization. Results showed that LP expression was enriched in the primary branch primordia (Figure 4c) and secondary branch primordia (Figure 4d), indicating that LP plays an important role in branch primordial differentiation.

To generate LPpro:LP-GUS transgenic plants, the promoter region (3093-bp) and the entire ORF (no stop codon contained) of LP were PCR amplified and inserted into the vector pCAMBIA 1301 between the BamHI and NcoI sites in-frame with the GUS reporter gene. The construct was transformed into lp-1 plants by the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation procedure. Transgenic plants with wild-type appearance were used for the analysis of GUS activity .


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