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Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas9 Sheds Light on Spikelet Development in Rice

July 29, 2020

Researchers from China National Rice Research Institute used CRISPR-Cas9 and revealed that MORE FLORET 1 plays an important role in the regulation of organ identity and spikelet determinacy in rice. The findings are reported in Plant Physiology.

Rice spikelets exhibit a unique inflorescence structure and the mechanisms behind their development remain to be unclear. Researchers believe that strategies in regulating spikelet formation could impact grain yield. Thus, Deyong Ren and the research team identified and characterized the recessive spikelet mutant more floret 1 (mof1). The mof1 mutant showed a delay in the transition from spikelet to floral meristem, which includes the development of extra lemma-like and palea-like organs. Furthermore, the main body of the palea was reduced, while the sterile lemma was enlarged and partially acquired hull identity.

Through map-based cloning, the team identified the MOF1 locus and which was confirmed by complementation and by generating new mof1 alleles using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.

Read more findings in Plant Physiology.

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