Mutation of Cellulose Synthase Gene Improves the Nutritive Value of Rice Straw

  • Su, Yanjing (College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University) ;
  • Zhao, Guoqi (College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University) ;
  • Wei, Zhenwu (College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University) ;
  • Yan, Changjie (Key Laboratory of Plant Functional Genomics, Ministry of Education/Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Physiology, Yangzhou University) ;
  • Liu, Sujiao (College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University)
  • Received : 2011.11.07
  • Accepted : 2012.02.03
  • Published : 2012.06.01


Rice straw is an important roughage resource for ruminants in many rice-producing countries. In this study, a rice brittle mutant (BM, mutation in OsCesA4, encoding cellulose synthase) and its wild type (WT) were employed to investigate the effects of a cellulose synthase gene mutation on rice straw morphological fractions, chemical composition, stem histological structure and in situ digestibility. The morphological fractions investigation showed that BM had a higher leaf sheath proportion (43.70% vs 38.21%, p<0.01) and a lower leaf blade proportion (25.21% vs 32.14%, p<0.01) than WT. Chemical composition analysis showed that BM rice straw was significantly (p<0.01) higher in CP (crude protein), hemicellulose and acid insoluble ash (AIA) contents, but lower in dry matter (DM), acid detergent fiber (ADFom) and cellulose contents when compared to WT. No significant difference (p>0.05) was detected in neutral detergent fiber (NDFom) and ADL contents for both strains. Histological structure observation indicated that BM stems had fewer sclerenchyma cells and a thinner sclerenchyma cell wall than WT. The results of in situ digestion showed that BM had higher DM, NDFom, cellulose and hemicellulose disappearance at 24 or 48 h of incubation (p<0.05). The effective digestibility of BM rice straw DM and NDFom was greater than that of WT (31.4% vs 26.7% for DM, 29.1% vs 24.3% for NDFom, p<0.05), but the rate of digestion of the slowly digested fraction of BM rice straw DM and NDF was decreased. These results indicated that the mutation in the cellulose synthase gene could improve the nutritive value of rice straw for ruminants.


Cellulose Synthase;Rice Straw;Histological Structure;In situ Digestibility


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