Annals of Botany

The maize lil1 gene is involved in plant growth and drought response

The brassinosteroids hormones are involved in plant development and plant–environment interactions. In this work, Castorina et al. performed a detailed analysis of lilliputian1-1 (lil1-1), a mutant impaired in the last steps of the brassinosteroid pathway.

Image: Castorina et al. (2018)

Lack of brassinosteroid active molecules causes a drastic reduction in seedling elongation, affects root gravitropic curvature and alters cell density on leaf epidermis. Moreover, mutants show a decrease in leaf permeability and a better adaptation to water scarcity condition, if compared to wild-type seedlings. This is the first report of brassinosteroids regulating plant response to drought in Zea mays.

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