Natural variation of rice strigolactone biosynthesis is associated with the deletion of two MAX1 orthologs

C. Cardoso, Y. Zhang, M. Jamil, J. Hepworth, T. Charnikhova, S.O.N. Dimkpa, C. Reiff, M.H. Wright, J. Liu, X. Meng, H.J. Bouwmeester, C.P. Ruyter-Spira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Rice (Oryza sativa) cultivar Azucena—belonging to the Japonica subspecies—exudes high strigolactone (SL) levels and induces high germination of the root parasitic plant Striga hermonthica. Consistent with the fact that SLs also inhibit shoot branching, Azucena is a lowtillering variety. In contrast, Bala, an Indica cultivar, is a low-SL producer, stimulates less Striga germination, and is highly tillered. Using a Bala × Azucena F6 population, a major quantitative trait loci— qSLB1.1—for the exudation of SL, tillering, and induction of Striga germination was detected on chromosome 1. Sequence analysis of the corresponding locus revealed a rearrangement of a 51- to 59-kbp stretch between 28.9 and 29 Mbp in the Bala genome, resulting in the deletion of two cytochrome P450 genes—SLB1 and SLB2—with high homology to the Arabidopsis SL biosynthesis gene, MAX1. Both rice genes rescue the Arabidopsis max1-1 highly branched mutant phenotype and increase the production of the SL, ent-2'-epi-5-deoxystrigol, when overexpressed in Bala. Furthermore, analysis of this region in 367 cultivars of the publicly available Rice Diversity Panel population shows that the rearrangement at this locus is a recurrent natural trait associated with the Indica/Japonica divide in rice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2379-2384
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • quantitative trait loci
  • tiller bud outgrowth
  • striga-hermonthica
  • oryza-sativa
  • phosphate deficiency
  • root morphology
  • arabidopsis
  • architecture
  • inhibition

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