, Volume 220, Issue 5, pp 678–688 | Cite as

Structure of the cinnamyl-alcohol dehydrogenase gene family in rice and promoter activity of a member associated with lignification

  • Christian M. TobiasEmail author
  • Elaine K. Chow
Original Article


Analysis of lignification in rice has been facilitated by the availability of the recently completed rice genome sequence, and rice will serve as an important model for understanding the relationship of grass lignin composition to cell wall digestibility. Cinnamyl-alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) is an enzyme important in lignin biosynthesis. The rice genome contains 12 distinct genes present at nine different loci that encode products with significant similarity to CAD. The rice gene family is diverse with respect to other angiosperm and gymnosperm CAD genes isolated to date and includes one member (OsCAD6) that contains a peroxisomal targeting signal and is substantially diverged relative to other family members. Four closely related family members (OsCAD8A–D) are present at the same locus and represent the product of a localized gene duplication and inversion. Promoter-reporter gene fusions to OsCAD2, an orthologue of the CAD gene present at the bm1 (brown midrib 1) locus of maize, reveal that in rice expression is associated with vascular tissue in aerial parts of the plant and is correlated with the onset of lignification. In root tissue, expression is primarily in the cortical parenchyma adjacent to the exodermis and in vascular tissue.


Brown midrib Cinnamyl-alcohol dehydrogenase Lignin Nipponbare Oryza sativa Promoter 



The authors are grateful to John Vogel, Debbie Laudencia-Chingcuanco, and Roger Thilmony for critical review of the manuscript and Devin Coleman-Derr for contributing the illustration in Fig. 4. This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture ARS CRIS 5325-21000-009-00.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1. Agricultural Research Service, Western Regional Research CenterUnited States Department of Agriculture AlbanyUSA

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