The development and elongation of active tillers in rice was severely reduced by a lack of cytosolic glutamine synthetase1;2 (GS1;2), and, to a lesser extent, lack of NADH-glutamate synthase1 in knockout mutants.In situhybridization using the basal part of wild-type seedlings clearly showed that expression ofOsGS1;2was detected in the phloem companion cells of the nodal vascular anastomoses and large vascular bundles of axillary buds. Accumulation of lignin, visualized using phloroglucin HCl, was also observed in these tissues. The lack of GS1;2 resulted in reduced accumulation of lignin. Re-introduction into the mutants ofOsGS1;2cDNA under the control of its own promoter successfully restored the outgrowth of tillers and lignin deposition to wild-type levels. Transcriptomic analysis using a 5 mm basal region of rice shoots showed that the GS1;2 mutants accumulated reduced amounts of mRNAs for carbon and nitrogen metabolism, including C1 unit transfer in lignin synthesis. Although a high content of strigolactone in rice roots is known to reduce active tiller number, the reduction of outgrowth of axillary buds observed in the GS1;2 mutants was independent of the level of strigolactone. Thus metabolic disorder caused by the lack of GS1;2 resulted in a severe reduction in the outgrowth of axillary buds and lignin deposition.Significance Statement
Metabolic disorder caused by the lack of GS1;2, located in vascular tissues of basal part of rice shoot, resulted in severe reduction in the outgrowth of axillary buds and lignin deposition. This reduction was independent of the level of strigolactone.