, Volume 238, Issue 4, pp 643–655 | Cite as

Molecular characterization and functional analysis of “fruit-weight2.2-like” gene family in rice

  • Jun Xu
  • Wentao Xiong
  • Baobao Cao
  • Tianze Yan
  • Tao Luo
  • Tingting Fan
  • Meizhong Luo
Original Article


Tomato fruit-weight 2.2 (FW2.2) was reported to control up to 30 % fruit weight. Recent studies demonstrated that FW2.2-like (FWL) genes also play important roles in plant growth and development. For instance, a maize homolog of FW2.2, named cell number regulator 1 (CNR1), negatively regulates plant and organ size. However, FWL genes in rice have not been characterized yet. In this study, eight FWL genes were identified in rice genome and designated as OsFWL1-8. The chromosome location, gene structure, protein motif, and phylogenetic relationship of OsFWL genes were analyzed. RT-PCR result and microarray data revealed that OsFWL genes exhibited diverse expression patterns and the detailed expression patterns of OsFWL5, 6, and 7 negatively correlated with leaf growth activity. Rice protoplast transient transformation experiment showed that most OsFWL proteins locate at cell membrane but OsFWL8 is present in the nucleus. In addition, the functions of OsFWL genes were investigated by analyzing two T-DNA insertion lines for OsFWL3 and 5. Compared with wild type, the grain weight of osfwl3 mutant and the plant height of osfwl5 mutant were increased by 5.3 and 12.5 %, respectively. We also found that the increase in grain length of osfwl3 mutant was due chiefly to incremental cell number, not cell size and the expression of OsFWL3 negatively correlated with glume growth activity. These results provide a comprehensive foundation for further study of OsFWL functions in rice.


CNR1 FW2.2 Growth activity OsFWL Rice 



Amino acid(s)


Cell Number Regulator 1


Fruit-weight 2.2




Oryza sativa FW2.2-like


Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction



We thank Professor Guo-liang Wang for the gift of subcellular localization vector. We also thank RMD and POSTECH for the offer of T-DNA insertion mutants and public laboratory of electron microscopy in Huazhong Agricultural University for technical assistance with scanning electron microscope. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 30971748).

Supplementary material

425_2013_1916_MOESM1_ESM.doc (133 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 133 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun Xu
    • 1
  • Wentao Xiong
    • 1
  • Baobao Cao
    • 1
  • Tianze Yan
    • 1
  • Tao Luo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tingting Fan
    • 1
  • Meizhong Luo
    • 1
  1. 1.National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic ImprovementHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Center for Neuropsychiatric Diseases, Institute of Life ScienceNanchang UniversityNanchangChina

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