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【The Plant Cell】Variation in WIDTH OF LEAF AND GRAIN contributes to grain and leaf size by controlling LARGE2 stability in rice
来源: 时间:2024-05-10

Zhichuang Yue, Zhipeng Wang, Yilong Yao, Yuanlin Liang, Jiaying Li, Kaili Yin, Ruiying Li, Yibo Li, Yidan Ouyang, Lizhong Xiong, Honghong Hu

The Plant Cell, koae136, https://doi.org/10.1093/plcell/koae136,  Published: 03 May 2024


Grain and flag leaf size are two important agronomic traits that influence grain yield in rice (Oryza sativa). Many QTLs and genes that regulate these traits individually have been identified, however, few QTLs and genes that simultaneously control these two traits have been identified. In this study, we conducted a genome-wide association analysis in rice and detected a major locus, WIDTH OF LEAF AND GRAIN (WLG), that associated with both grain and flag leaf width. WLG encodes a RING-domain E3 ubiquitin ligase. WLGhap.B, which possesses five SNP variations compared to WLGhap.A, encodes a protein with enhanced ubiquitination activity that confers increased rice leaf width and grain size, whereas mutation of WLG leads to narrower leaves and smaller grains. Both WLGhap.A and WLGhap.B interact with LARGE2, a HETC-type E3 ligase, however, WLGhap.B exhibits stronger interaction with LARGE2, thus higher ubiquitination activity towards LARGE2 compared with WLGhap.A. Lysine1021 is crucial for the ubiquitination of LARGE2 by WLG. Loss-of-function of LARGE2 in wlg-1 phenocopies large2-c in grain and leaf width, suggesting that WLG acts upstream of LARGE2. These findings reveal the genetic and molecular mechanism by which the WLG–LARGE2 module mediates grain and leaf size in rice, and suggest the potential of WLGhap.B in improving rice yield.