Discovery of the mechanism that triggers stem elongation

July 16, 2020

Regulation of stem elongation through a balance of an accel and a brake factor

A joint team of researchers from Nagoya University, Okayama University, Yokohama City University, the National Institute of Genetics, RIKEN CSRS and BioResource Research Center, and the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization has revealed the mechanism that triggers elongation of plant stems, which had been a mystery.

While the factors that control the initiation of stem elongation was proposed by Japanese researchers about fifty years ago, the detailed mechanism had not been elucidated. The research team identified two key factors in rice: ACE1 gene, which serves as an accelerator in stem elongation, and DEC1 gene, which serves as a break. It has been revealed that the timing of initiating stem elongation is controlled by the balance of these two factors that have opposing functions. It was also found that the mechanism that regulates elongation of stems via ACE1 gene and DEC1 gene is conserved among the grasses. The results of this research could be applied to technologies that artificially control the height of rice as well as other poaceous crops such as wheat and barley.

Original article
Nature doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2501-8
K. Nagai, Y. Mori, S. Ishikawa, T. Furuta, R. Gamuyao, Y. Niimi, T. Hobo, M. Fukuda, M. Kojima, Y. Takebayashi, A. Fukushima, Y. Himuro, M. Kobayashi, W. Ackley, H. Hisano, K. Sato, A. Yoshida, J. Wu, H. Sakakibara, Y. Sato, H. Tsuji, T. Akagi, M. Ashikari,
"Antagonistic regulation of the gibberellic acid response during stem growth in rice".
Mikiko Kojima; Expert Technician
Hitoshi Sakakibara; Senior Visiting Scientist
Masami HIrai; Unit Leader
Mass Spectrometry and Microscopy Unit