Effects of Strigolactones on Grain Yield and Seed Development in Rice

  • Yusuke Yamada
  • Mami Otake
  • Takuma Furukawa
  • Masato Shindo
  • Koichiro Shimomura
  • Shinjiro Yamaguchi
  • Mikihisa UmeharaEmail author


Strigolactones (SLs) are well known as a class of endogenous phytohormones that regulate tiller bud outgrowth. Reduction of inorganic phosphate (Pi) induces the accumulation of SLs, which inhibit tiller bud outgrowth in wild-type (WT) rice plants, but not in SL mutants. This suggests that SLs are important for plant adaptation to Pi-deficient conditions. Thus, we investigated the effects of SLs on grain yield and seed size in WT and dwarf (d) mutant rice plants treated with various Pi concentrations. In both WT and d mutants, plant growth, chlorophyll levels, panicle number, number of hulls, and total grain number decreased as Pi decreased, indicating that SL is not required to mediate these Pi responses. The d mutants produced more panicles than the WT control, but there was no increase in grain yield, and the seed-setting rate decreased. Removal of outgrowing tillers did not affect grain yield in d mutants. GR24 (a synthetic SL) treatment rescued grain yield in d mutants. The d3 and d53 mutants had the lowest grain yields among d mutants. Furthermore, the endosperm of d mutants was 25% smaller than that of WT plants; there were no significant differences in embryo length between WT and d mutant plants, but the endosperm cell area of the d mutants was approximately 30% smaller than that of WT plants. We propose that SLs control grain yield and rice endosperm development.


Endosperm Inorganic phosphate Oryza sativa Productivity Strigolactone Tillering 



We thank Junko Kyozuka (Tohoku University, Japan) for providing the rice seeds, and Hanako Nakamura and Soya Furusawa (Toyo University, Japan) for their technical assistance. This study was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas and for Scientific Research (C) from Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Nos. 23119523 and 26450144 to M.U.), by the Inoue Enryo Memorial Foundation for Promoting Sciences from Toyo University to Y.Y., and was in part supported by Research Center for Life and Environmental Sciences, Toyo University.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Life SciencesToyo UniversityGunmaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Applied BiosciencesToyo UniversityGunmaJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of Life SciencesTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  4. 4.Institute for Chemical ResearchKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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