Homologs of SCAR/WAVE complex components are required for epidermal cell morphogenesis in rice

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Filamentous actins (F-actins) play a vital role in epidermal cell morphogenesis. However, a limited number of studies have examined actin-dependent leaf epidermal cell morphogenesis events in rice. In this study, two recessive mutants were isolated: less pronounced lobe epidermal cell2-1 (lpl2-1) and lpl3-1, whose leaf and stem epidermis developed a smooth surface, with fewer serrated pavement cell (PC) lobes, and decreased papillae. The lpl2-1 also exhibited irregular stomata patterns, reduced plant height, and short panicles and roots. Molecular genetic studies demonstrated that LPL2 and LPL3 encode the PIROGI/Specifically Rac1-associated protein 1 (PIR/SRA1)-like and NCK-associated protein 1 (NAP1)-like proteins, respectively, two components of the suppressor of cAMP receptor/Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein-family verprolin-homologous protein (SCAR/WAVE) regulatory complex involved in actin nucleation and function. Epidermal cells exhibited abnormal arrangement of F-actins in both lpl2 and lpl3 expanding leaves. Moreover, the distorted trichomes of Arabidopsis pir could be partially restored by an overexpression of LPL2. A yeast two-hybrid assay revealed that LPL2 can directly interact with LPL3 in vitro. Collectively, the results indicate that LPL2 and LPL3 are two functionally conserved homologs of the SCAR/WAVE complex components, and that they play an important role in controlling epidermal cell morphogenesis in rice by organising F-actin.

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