Crop Biotech Update

Genetic Control of Seed Shattering in Rice

May 25, 2012

One of the significant events in the domestication of rice is the elimination of seed shattering, so the seeds remain on the stalks until harvest time. Chinese Academy of Sciences scientist Yan Zhou and colleagues conducted a study on the regulation of seed shattering in cultivated rice. They introgressed a wild-type chromosome 4 (carries SH4 locus conferring easy shattering) to form an easy shattering line labeled as SL4. Then they mutated the SL4 plants and screened for shattering. The team identified two non shattering mutants (shat1 and shat2) which did not form abscission zones, and needed stronger force to separate the seeds from the pedicel.

Subscribers of Plant Cell may view the article at http://www.plantcell.org/content/24/3/839.full.