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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Develop Dwarf Maize with Better Yielding Capacity by Controlling Gibberellin Levels

October 23, 2019

Chinese researchers transformed Arabidopsis AtGA2ox1 gene into maize with the goal of developing a height-reduced GM maize. Dwarf cultivars of wheat and rice have helped increase global production, thus, developing dwarf maize could be a promising strategy to boost production. The most direct and effective dwarfing technique used was controlling gibberellin (GA) levels of crops.

The researchers transformed AtGA2ox1 into maize and results showed that the transgenic maize plants with the most reduced plant height had 74% reduction in GA level, and by approximately two-fold increases in both chlorophyll content and root/shoot ratio compared to the non-transformed plants. Furthermore, the stem cells of the GM maize were found to be condensed, with deformed vascular bundles. Two-season field trials showed improved harvest index (9-7%) and grain yield (10-14%) compared to the non-GM maize.

Based on the findings, controlling the GA level could be an effective technique in altering maize architecture and grain yield. Read more findings in Transgenic Research.

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