Crop Biotech Update

PE-1 Impacts Heading Date and Chloroplast Development in Rice

June 13, 2019

One of the vital target traits in improving rice production is the duration of rice growth phase. Identifying mutations in rice that change these processes to cause shorter growth phase could have potential benefits for crop production. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry presents an early-aging rice mutant, pe-1.

The researchers isolated pe-1 using γ-mutated Indica rice cultivar and subsequent screening methods. The pe-1 has decreased chlorophyll content, manifested by its light green leaves; enhanced photosynthesis; and decreased pollen fertility. Analysis of expression patterns showed that PE-1 was mainly present in roots, stems, leaves, leaf sheaths, and young panicles. CRISPR-Cas9 was used to knockout PE-1, leading to decreased chlorophyll content and down-regulated expression of PE-1 related genes.

The results suggest that PE-1 work as a master regulator in controlling chlorophyll biosynthesis and photosynthetic pathways.

Read the abstract in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.