Based on sequence similarity to the well-studied Arabidopsis thaliana MP/ARF5 gene, we hypothesized that the Oryza sativa Auxin Response Factor 11 (OsARF11) gene is a prime candidate for auxin-signaling mediated development in rice. Here we describe characterizations of two independent insertion mutants in the OsARF11 gene. Our results reveal that homozygous plants of both allelic mutants have reduced shoot and root growth and produce fewer seeds compared to wild type plants grown under the same growth conditions. In addition, the number of leaf veins per leaf and per unit leaf width is reduced, as is the width of leaf mid veins. Taken together, the results demonstrate for the first time that OsARF11 contributes to plant growth, fecundity, and the regulation of leaf vein patterning in rice. The results also suggest that OsARF11 may be a suitable target for breeding on these traits.
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Thesis advisor: Mattsson, Jim
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