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A rare allele of GS2 enhances grain yield in rice

DATE:2015-09-10       SOURCE:MOA

According to a joint study between China National Rice Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, an important gene GS2, which could significantly boost the yield of super-rice, was successfully separated and cloned from a local rice variety Baodali in Zhejiang province.

The major findings were published in the latest issue of the well-known international journal Molecular Plant.

The study presents the cloning and characterization of a dominant quantitative trait loci (QTL), GRAIN SIZE ON CHROMOSOME 2 (GS2), which encodes Growth-Regulating Factor 4 (OsGRF4), a transcriptional regulator. GS2 localizes to the nucleus and may act as a transcription activator. A rare mutation of GS2 affecting the binding site of a microRNA, OsmiR396c, causes elevated expression ofGS2/OsGRF4. The increase in GS2 expression leads to larger cells and increased numbers of cells, which thus enhances grain weight and yield. The introduction of this rare allele of GS2/OsGRF4 into rice cultivars could significantly enhance grain weight and increase grain yield, with possible applications in breeding high-yield rice varieties.

The study was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

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