Dwarfism is a common type of mutation in many plant species. The pathways and factors regulating biosynthesis and signaling of several plant growth regulators have been clarified through analyses of dwarf mutants in rice, Arabidopsis, pea, and maize. However, the genetic mechanisms controlling dwarfism are not well characterized, and the causal genes underlying most dwarf mutants are still uncovered. Here, we report a dominant mutant, Twisted dwarf 1-1 (Tid1-1), showing dwarfism and twisted growth in rice. Tid1-1 exhibit right helical growth of the leaves and stem and shortening of the roots. They also show an increased number of cells in the shoot apical meristem. Cells in the leaves of Tid1-1 are often ill-shapen, possibly owing to irregular cell division. Cell elongation in roots is suppressed in the elongation zone, and cells in the root apical meristem are enlarged. Map-based cloning of TID1 revealed that it encodes an α-tubulin protein comprising microtubules and is an ortholog of Arabidopsis LEFTY genes. Our analysis of the Tid1-1 mutant revealed that the dynamics of microtubules affects not only anisotropic growth in both dicots and monocots, but also meristematic activity and gross plant morphology.
2009 by The Genetics Society of Japan