Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Edit Yield-Increasing Genes in Rice

August 8, 2018

Rice yield is an important and complex agronomic trait controlled by multiple genes. Several yield-associated genes in rice have been studied, many of which can increase production with their loss of function. However, mutations occurring randomly have provided very limited genetic resources for studying yield increases.

Scientists from China used CRISPR-Cas9 to edit two yield-increasing genes in rice. Team leader Liyu Huang, together with Yunnan University research team edited the Grain number 1a (Gn1a) and DENSE AND ERECT PANICLE1 (DEP1) genes. Phenotypic analysis of the generated mutants confirmed one mutant allele of Gn1a and three of DEP1, all of which confer yield superior to that of other high-yield alleles.

These results demonstrate that favorable alleles of the Gnla and DEP1 genes could be developed by artificial mutagenesis using genome editing technology.

For more information, read the article in The Crop Journal.