Transcriptome analysis revealed the interaction among strigolactones, auxin, and cytokinin in controlling the shoot branching of rice

  • M. Zha
  • M. Imran
  • Y. Wang
  • J. Xu
  • Y. Ding
  • Shaohua WangEmail author
Original Article


Key message

Strigolactones inhibit bud growth by negatively regulating the auxin transport without changing the auxin biosynthesis and suppressing the expression of A-ARR in buds.


Strigolactones (SLs) are important phytohormones associated with regulation of shoot branching in rice. Rice shoot branching is persuasively mediated by plant hormones like auxin, cytokinins (CKs) and SLs. The interactions among these hormones were diversely investigated by many researchers but remained a subject of debate. In the present study, the removal of panicle and application of subsequent synthetic SLs were used to regulate rice bud growth on node 2 (the second node from panicle) at full heading stage. The bud growth was significantly induced after panicle removal but GR24 (synthetic SLs) application inhibited it, along with variations in endogenous hormone contents in bud. RNA samples from buds were subjected to RNA sequencing through Illumina HiSeq 2000 (RNA-seq). Comparison of transcript expression levels among three treatments, viz. (1) intact (Co), (2) removed panicle (RP) and (3) RP combined with synthetic SL GR24 (GR) revealed the involvement of numerous genes associated with hormone signal transduction. GR24 supply minimized the RP-induced enhancement of auxin early response genes, independent of ARF. CK signal transduction was also induced by RP, but type-A ARR were the only genes responding to GR without any other CK signal associated genes. Additionally, RP and GR can also modulate auxin transport and CK degradation by regulating the genes’ expression involved in the biosynthesis of flavonoid, phenylpropanoid and benzoxazinoid. Contemplating the results obtained so far, it is possible to open new vistas of research to reveal the interactions among SLs, auxin and CK in controlling the shoot branching of rice.


Rice Tiller bud RNA-seq Strigolactone Cytokinin Auxin 



This work was supported by the Ministry of National Science and Technology of China (Project no. 31371569), the Science and Technology Department of China (Project no. 2013BAD07B09), and the Science and Technology Department of Jiangsu Province (Project no. BE2014393).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of the interest

The authors have no conflicts of the interest to declare.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Zha
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Imran
    • 3
  • Y. Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Xu
    • 1
    • 4
  • Y. Ding
    • 1
    • 5
  • Shaohua Wang
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Agronomy CollegeNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Biology and Environmental SciencesJishou UniversityJishouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University College of AgricultureUniversity of SargodhaSargodhaPakistan
  4. 4.Forest and Fruit Tree InstituteShanghai Academy of Agricultural SciencesShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Modern Crop ProductionNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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