Journal Article

ONION2 Fatty Acid Elongase is Required for Shoot Development in Rice

Katsutoshi Tsuda, Takafumi Akiba, Fumiko Kimura, Mayu Ishibashi, Chihiro Moriya, Kiyotaka Nakagawa, Nori Kurata and Yukihiro Ito

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 54, issue 2, pages 209-217
Published in print February 2013 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online December 2012 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:

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


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A plant’s surface is covered with epicuticular wax, which protects plants from inappropriate environmental conditions such as drought and pathogen attack. Very-long-chain fatty acids (VLCFAs) are the main component of epicuticular wax on the surface of above-ground organs. Here we show that a fatty acid elongase catalyzing an elongation reaction of VLCFAs is required for shoot development in rice. onion2 (oni2) mutants produced very small shoots in which leaves were fused to each other, and ceased growing after germination. The midrib of oni2 leaf blades was not developed correctly. Molecular cloning showed that ONI2 encodes a fatty acid elongase, which catalyzes the first step of elongation reactions of a carbon chain of VLCFAs, and oni2 had a reduced amount of VLCFAs. Expression analysis showed that ONI2 is specifically expressed in the outermost cell layer of young lateral organs. These results suggest that ONI2 is a layer 1-specific gene required for development of the entire shoot and that VLCFAs play an essential role in normal shoot development in rice.

Keywords: Fatty acid elongase; L1; Rice; Shoot; Very-long-chain fatty acid

Journal Article.  4730 words.  Illustrated.

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

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