PLASTOCHRON3/GOLIATHencodes a glutamate carboxypeptidase required for proper development in rice

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Most aerial parts of the plant body are products of the continuous activity of the shoot apical meristem (SAM). Leaves are the major component of the aerial plant body, and their temporal and spatial distribution mainly determines shoot architecture. Here we report the identification of the rice genePLASTOCHRON3(PLA3)/GOLIATH(GO) that regulates various developmental processes including the rate of leaf initiation (the plastochron).PLA3/GOencodes a glutamate carboxypeptidase, which is thought to catabolize small acidic peptides and produce small signaling molecules.pla3exhibits similar phenotypes topla1andpla2– a shortened plastochron, precocious leaf maturation and rachis branch-to-shoot conversion in the reproductive phase. However, in contrast topla1andpla2,pla3showed pleiotropic phenotypes including enlarged embryo, seed vivipary, defects in SAM maintenance and aberrant leaf morphology. Consistent with these pleiotropic phenotypes,PLA3is expressed in the whole plant body, and is involved in plant hormone homeostasis. Double mutant analysis revealed thatPLA1,PLA2andPLA3are regulated independently but function redundantly. Our results suggest that PLA3 modulates various signaling pathways associated with a number of developmental processes.

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