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Crop Biotech Update

Gene Discovered for Better Rice

July 8, 2015

A group of Chinese researchers led by Shaokui Wang from South China Agricultural Science University discovered a new strategy that will help in improving rice.

The researchers found out that allelic variations in GW7 influences the rice yield and grain quality. The upregulation of GW7 produces more slender grain. Furthermore, GW7 expression is regulated by OsSPL16 (GW8), a transcription factor that controls grain width.

In tropical japonica rice, the presence of GW7 allele in the rice leads to higher rice quality without any yield penalty as imposed by the Basmati gw8 allele. This suggests that manipulation in the OsSPL-16 GW7 will help in improving rice for better grain quality and yield.

The study can be read at Nature Genetics.