Biotech Updates

Role of Docs1 in Specification of Outer Cell Layers in Rice Roots

February 10, 2012

Outer cell layers of rice roots play a significant role in protecting the plant from different stresses in soil. Molecular mechanisms involved in specification of these cell layers are poorly understood. Chao-Feng Huang from Okayama University in Japan and colleagues reported a gene called defective in outer cell layer specification 1 (Docs1), which has been found to be involved in the specification of outer cell layers in rice roots. They isolated Docs1 through map-based cloning using mutant (c68) defective in outer cell layers in primary roots. The gene also code for a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase (LRR RLK). The mRNA of Docs1 was found to be expressed not only in the roots but also in other plant parts such as the leaf and flower. Immunostaining showed that Docs1 was localized at the epidermis and exodermis, depending on the root region. At the subcellular level, Docs1 was found to be localized in the plasma membrane.

Genome analysis of the wild type and mutant roots showed that 61 genes were up-regulated in the mutant, and 41 genes were downregulated. Results of the study suggest that Docs1 might directly or indirectly control several genes involved in the development of the outer cell layers in rice.

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