Scientists have found important genes that control traits in rice streams

Rice Courtesy of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Recently, the Rice Molecular Design Technology and Application Innovation Team of the Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences cooperated with relevant units to reveal the regulation mechanism of rice yield genes to increase rice yield and quality through the coordination of source, library and flow traits from a new perspective, providing theoretical support for rice high-yield and high-quality breeding. The results were published in Plant Physiology.

The process of increasing rice yield is essentially a process of continuously establishing the relationship between genetic improvement and equilibrium between source, reservoir and flow traits. The source mainly refers to the rice sword leaf and inverted two leaves, the library mainly refers to the number of grains and grain weight per panicle, and the flow mainly refers to the size and number of panicle neck vascular bundles connecting the source and the library. Source, library, and flow traits were significantly positively correlated with yield.

Cloning important genes that control rice flow traits and revealing the regulatory mechanism of rice flow traits has important guiding significance for rice ultra-high yield breeding. However, clones of phloem area genes controlling large vascular bundles in rice ear neck have rarely been reported.

The researchers cloned a gene LVPA4, which controls phloem area traits in the large vascular bundle of rice ear neck, which is related to the narrow-leaf gene NAL1. Compared with its control plants, the mutants of this gene significantly increased the phloem area of the panicle neck macrovascular bundle (about 12.7%), the total grain number per panicle (about 17.2%), the number of solid grains per panicle (about 22.5%), the sword leaf area, leaf area index and the content of non-structural carbohydrates in the stem sheath at the spike stage, resulting in a synergistic increase of source, library and flow traits.

The experiments showed that the rice yield of the mutant increased by 7.6%~9.6% in the community test, and the products of photosynthesis in the source, including non-structural carbohydrates stored in the stem in the early stage, were fully transported to the grain through the flow traits, and the grain, especially the grain at the base of the ear, was well filled, thereby improving the quality of rice.

This study shows that LVPA4 single gene improves rice yield and rice quality through the coordination of source, library and flow traits, and has application value in rice high-yield and high-quality breeding.

The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Yazhou Bay Seed Laboratory in Hainan. (Source: China Science News, Li Chen, Wei Fei)

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