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The tiller of rice (Oryza sativa L.), which determines the panicle number per plant, is an important agronomic trait for grain production. Ascorbic acid (Asc) is a major plant antioxidant that serves many functions in plants. L-Galactono-1,4-lactone dehydrogenase (GLDH, EC is an enzyme that catalyzes the last step of Asc biosynthesis in plants. Here we show that the GLDH-suppressed transgenic rices, GI-1 and GI-2, which have constitutively low (between 30% and 50%) leaf Asc content compared with the wild-type plants, exhibit a significantly reduced tiller number. Moreover, lower growth rate and plant height were observed in the Asc-deficient plants relative to the trait values of the wild-type plants at different tillering stages. Further examination showed that the deficiency of Asc resulted in a higher lipid peroxidation, a loss of chlorophyll, a loss of carotenoids, and a lower rate of CO(2) assimilation. In addition, the level of abscisic acid was higher in GI-1 plants, while the level of jasmonic acid was higher in GI-1 and GI-2 plants at different tillering stages. The results we presented here indicated that Asc deficiency was likely responsible for the promotion of premature senescence, which was accompanied by a marked decrease in photosynthesis. These observations support the conclusion that the deficiency of Asc alters the tiller number in the GLDH-suppressed transgenics through promoting premature senescence and changing phytohormones related to senescence. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


Yonghai Liu, Le Yu, Jianhua Tong, Junhui Ding, Ruozhong Wang, Yusheng Lu, Langtao Xiao. Tiller number is altered in the ascorbic acid-deficient rice suppressed for L-galactono-1,4-lactone dehydrogenase. Journal of plant physiology. 2013 Mar 1;170(4):389-96

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PMID: 23290459

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