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Glabrous Rice 1, encoding a homeodomain protein, regulates trichome development in rice

Jinjun Li1, Yundong Yuan2, Zefu Lu2, Liusha Yang2, Rongcun Gao1, Jingen Lu1, Jiayang Li2 and Guosheng Xiong2*

Author Affiliations

1 Jiaxing Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, 314016, China

2 State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics and National Center for Plant Gene Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

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Rice 2012, 5:32  doi:10.1186/1939-8433-5-32

Published: 6 October 2012



Glabrous rice, which lacks trichomes on the rice epidermis, is regarded as an important germplasm resource in rice breeding. Trichomes are derived from aerial epidermal cells and used as a model to study the cell fate determination in plant. In Arabidopsis, the molecular mechanisms of trichome development have been well studied. However, little is known about the molecular basis of trichome development in rice.


In this study, near isogenic lines harboring the glabrous rice 1 locus were developed. By a map-based approach, we narrowed down the locus to a 21-kb DNA region harboring two genes. One of the genes named Glabrous Rice 1 (GLR1), which is most likely the candidate, encodes a homeodomain protein containing the WOX motif. Constitutive Expression of GLR1 could partially complement the glabrous phenotype of NILglr1. The knock down of GLR1 by RNA interference led to a significant decrease in trichome number on the leaves and glumes of the RNAi transgenic plants.


GLR1 plays an important role in rice trichome development and will contribute to breeding of glabrous elite rice varieties.

Glabrous rice; Trichome development; WOX protein