The rice OsMADS16 gene is phylogenetically related to the angiosperm B-function MADS-box genes. To investigate if OsMADS16 functions as an AP3/DEF orthologue to regulate the development of lodicules and stamens in rice, we isolated its genomic sequences and characterized its functions in planta by RNA interference. The genomic sequence of the OsMADS16 gene shows that it shares high similarity in genomic structure and the deduced amino acid sequence with the maize B-class gene, Si1. Transgenic lines from the introduced gene expressing double-stranded RNA with the OsMADS16 cDNA fragment were male-sterile and displayed alternations of lodicules and stamens, occasionally depressed palea and overgrown glume. The two lodicules were converted into four palea/lemma-like organs and some stamens into carpels. Further investigations of the transcription of OsMADS16 gene in these transgenic lines by RT-PCR revealed that its transcript was significantly reduced. Transcription of a rice PI homologous gene, OsMADS4, was also reduced remarkably in the transgenic plants. Our results demonstrate that OsMADS16 is an AP3/DEF orthologue to specify the identities of lodicules and stamens in rice flower and also support that OsMADS4 is a PI orthologue. In addition, these results suggest that RNA interference is a useful tool for functional genomics in rice.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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