The rice FISH BONE gene encodes a tryptophan aminotransferase, which affects pleiotropic auxin-related processes



Auxin is a fundamental plant hormone and its localization within organs plays pivotal roles in plant growth and development. Analysis of many Arabidopsis mutants that were defective in auxin biosynthesis revealed that the indole-3-pyruvic acid (IPA) pathway, catalyzed by the TRYPTOPHAN AMINOTRANSFERASE OF ARABIDOPSIS (TAA) and YUCCA (YUC) families, is the major biosynthetic pathway of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). In contrast, little information is known about the molecular mechanisms of auxin biosynthesis in rice. In this study, we identified a auxin-related rice mutant, fish bone (fib). FIB encodes an orthologue of TAA genes and loss of FIB function resulted in pleiotropic abnormal phenotypes, such as small leaves with large lamina joint angles, abnormal vascular development, small panicles, abnormal organ identity and defects in root development, together with a reduction in internal IAA levels. Moreover, we found that auxin sensitivity and polar transport activity were altered in the fib mutant. From these results, we suggest that FIB plays a pivotal role in IAA biosynthesis in rice and that auxin biosynthesis, transport and sensitivity are closely interrelated.