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

Catarina Cardoso, Yanxia Zhang, Muhammad Jamil, Jo Hepworth, Tatsiana Charnikhova, Stanley O. N. Dimkpa, Caroline Meharg, Mark H. Wright, Junwei Liu, Xiangbing Meng, Yonghong Wang, Jiayang Li, Susan R. McCouch, Ottoline Leyser, Adam H. Price, Harro J. Bouwmeester*, Carolien Ruyter-Spira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 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 low-tillering variety. In contrast, Bala, an Indica cultivar, is a low-SL producer, stimulates less Striga germination, and is highly tillered. Using a Bala x 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
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2014

Bibliographical note

We thank Koichi Yoneyama (Utsunomiya University, Japan), Yukihiro Sugimoto (Kobe University, Japan), and Tadao Asami (University of Tokyo, Japan) for the kind provision of ent-2′-epi-orobanchol, orobanchol, 5-deoxystrigol, 2′-epi-5-deoxystrigol, and [2H]6-2′-epi-5-deoxystrigol; and Binne Zwanenburg (University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands) for providing GR24. A.H.P. and H.J.B. thank Pieter Ouwerkerk for bringing them together. This work was supported by the Higher Education Commission Pakistan (to M.J.); Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research Vici Grant 865.06.002 (to H.J.B.) and Equipment Grant 834.08.001 (to H.J.B.); the Centre for BioSystems Genomics, part of the Netherlands Genomics Initiative/Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (to H.J.B.); National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Grant 1026555 (to S.R.M.); US Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture Grant 2009-65300-05661 (to S.R.M.); United Kingdom Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (to J.H.); Government of the Rivers State of Nigeria Postgraduate Scholarship (to S.O.N.D.); and National Natural Science Foundation of China Grant 31161130535 (to Y.W.). Bala sequencing was supported by European Union FP6 Project 015468 (“CEDROME”) and a Monitoring Agricultural Resources grant; Azucena sequencing was supported by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council–Department for International Development Grant BBF0041841.


  • QTL
  • plant hormone
  • CYP450
  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Tiller Bud Outgrowth
  • Striga-Hermonthica
  • Oryza-Sativa
  • Phosphate deficiency
  • Root morphology
  • Arabidopsis
  • Architecture


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