The Evolutionary Basis of Naturally Diverse Rice Leaves Anatomy uri icon

abstract

  • Rice contains genetically and ecologically diverse wild and cultivated species that show a wide variation in plant and leaf architecture. A systematic characterization of leaf anatomy is essential in understanding the dynamics behind such diversity. Therefore, leaf anatomies of 24 Oryza species spanning 11 genetically diverse rice genomes were studied in both lateral and longitudinal directions and possible evolutionary trends were examined. A significant inter-species variation in mesophyll cells, bundle sheath cells, and vein structure was observed, suggesting precise genetic control over these major rice leaf anatomical traits. Cellular dimensions, measured along three growth axes, were further combined proportionately to construct three-dimensional (3D) leaf anatomy models to compare the relative size and orientation of the major cell types present in a fully expanded leaf. A reconstruction of the ancestral leaf state revealed that the following are the major characteristics of recently evolved rice species: fewer veins, larger and laterally elongated mesophyll cells, with an increase in total mesophyll area and in bundle sheath cell number. A huge diversity in leaf anatomy within wild and domesticated rice species has been portrayed in this study, on an evolutionary context, predicting a two-pronged evolutionary pathway leading to the `sativa leaf type' that we see today in domesticated species.

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016
  • 2016