Journal Article

Rice <i>BRITTLE CULM 5</i> (<i>BRITTLE NODE</i>) is Involved in Secondary Cell Wall Formation in the Sclerenchyma Tissue of Nodes

Tsutomu Aohara, Toshihisa Kotake, Yasuko Kaneko, Hiroshi Takatsuji, Yoichi Tsumuraya and Shinji Kawasaki

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 50, issue 11, pages 1886-1897
Published in print November 2009 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online October 2009 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Several brittle culm (bc) mutants known in grasses are considered excellent materials to study the process of secondary cell wall formation. The brittle phenotype of the rice bc5 (brittle node) mutant appears exclusively in the developed nodes, which is distinct from other bc mutants (bc1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7) that show the brittle phenotype in culms and leaves. To address the defects of the rice bc5 mutant in node-specific cell wall formation, we analyzed tissue morphology and cell wall composition. The bc5 mutation was found to affect the cell wall deposition of node sclerenchyma tissues at 1 week after heading, the stage at which the cell wall sugar content is reduced, in the bc5 nodes, compared with wild-type nodes. Moreover, decreased accumulation of lignin and thickness of cell walls in the sclerenchyma tissues were also observed in the bc5 nodes. The amounts of cellulose and hemicellulose were reduced to 53 and 65% of those in the wild-type plants, respectively. Sugar composition and glycosidic linkage analyses of the hemicellulose showed that the accumulation of glucuronosyl arabinoxylan in bc5 nodes was perturbed by the mutation. The bc5 locus was narrowed to an approximately 3.1 Mb region of chromosome 2, where none of the other bc genes is located. The bc5 mutation appeared to reduce the expression levels of the OsCesA genes in the nodes after heading. The results indicate that the BC5 gene regulates the development of secondary cell walls of node sclerenchyma tissues.

Keywords: Cellulose • Glucuronosyl arabinoxylan • Lignin • Rice node • Sclerenchyma tissue • Secondary cell walls

Journal Article.  6131 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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