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    Callose, mainly deposited at the cell plate and in the newly formed cell wall at a very low level, is critical for cell activity and growth in plants. The genetic control and function of callose synthases, responsible for the synthesis of callose, are largely unknown in maize. In this study, we cloned a maize callose synthase, SLM1 (Seedling Lethal Mutant1) encoding for a GLUCAN SYNTHASE-LIKE (GSL) gene, from a seedling lethal mutant. Three different point mutations confirmed the key role of SLM1 to maintain maize normal growth. SLM1 was specifically expressed in immature leaf vascular with an enrichment in phloem of developing vasculature. Consistently, slm1 had severe defects in vasculature and leaf development, and terminated growth about 2 weeks after germination. Thus, SLM1 is a key gene to maintain normal growth by controlling leaf vascular development and cell activities. Loss of SLM1 function interrupted severely the important signaling pathways in which cell cyclin and histone related genes are involved. Our study reveals the critical function of a maize GSL gene and also its downstream signaling to maintain a normal growth of maize. The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11032-022-01350-4. © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2023. Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.


    Wanshun Zhong, Chang Zheng, Liang Dong, Lu Kang, Fang Yang. The maize callose synthase SLM1 is critical for a normal growth by controlling the vascular development. Molecular breeding : new strategies in plant improvement. 2023 Jan;43(1):2

    PMID: 37312868

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