Identification and Characterization of BES1 genes involved in grain size development of Oryza sativa L.
Published:31 Oct.2023    Source:International Journal of Biological Macromolecules

BES1 (BRI1-EMS-SUPPRESSOR1) defines a unique class of plant-specific transcription factors that plays an essential role in response to Brassinosteroids (BRs) signal induction pathways. In our study, we conducted genome-wide scanning and comprehensive characterization of the BES1 gene family in rice and other eukaryotes, leading to valuable findings. Molecular docking experiments showed that all OsBES1 genes in rice could directly bind to BR small molecules.

Among the identified genes, OsBES1-4 exhibited a remarkable response as it consistently showed induction upon exposure to various phytohormones after treatment. Further functional verification of OsBES1-4 revealed its impact on grain size. Overexpression of OsBES1-4 resulted in increased grain size, as confirmed by cytological observations showing an increase in cell length and cell number. Moreover, we identified that OsBES1-4 plays a role in rice grain size development by binding to the BR response element in the promoter region of the OsBZR1 gene. Evolutionary analysis indicated differentiation of OsBES1-4 between indica and japonica rice varieties, suggesting natural selection during the domestication process of cultivated rice.
Therefore, we conclude that OsBES1-4 plays a crucial role in regulating rice grain size and has the potential to be an important target in rice breeding programs, and haplotype analysis found that all OsBES1 genes were associated with grain size development, either thousand-grain weight, grain length, or grain width. Overall, these findings suggest that the BES1 genes are involved in the regulation of grain size development in rice, and the utilization of SNPs in the OsBES1-4 gene promoter could be a favorable option for distinguishing indica and japonica.