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.
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.