Rice (Oryza sativa) is the most important crop and feeds more than half of the world population. The architecture of rice, including height, leaf inclination, and tiller number, is important for rice planting and yield. Plant hormone, brassinosteroids (BR), plays crucial roles in modulating plant architecture and seed yield. But BR cannot be applied in agriculture production directly because BR regulated multiple processes and could not be transcriptional regulated in different tissues. BR deficiency/insensitivity leads to decreased reproductivity and grain yield. Enhanced BR signaling contributes to better nutrition, higher efficiency of carbohydrate transportation from source to sink, and increased grain yield. But the increased plant height and leaf inclination induces lodging and reduces planting density. The solutions of side-effect is identifying new regulators which can mediate parts of BR-regulated rice growth. Currently Prof. Wen-Hui Lin and her group identified a new GATA transcription factor, OsGATA7, which modulated BR-mediated growth regulation in architecture and grain shape. The knock down and genome-edited (CRISPR-CAS) lines of OsGATA7 had decreased height and leaf inclination, and slightly decreased grain number per panicle and grain weight, which was similar to BR-deficient and BR-insensitive mutants. Overexpression of OsGATA7 could partially rescue phenotypes of Arabidopsis BR-insensitive mutant bri1-5, further suggesting that OsGATA7 partially modulated BR-mediated plant growth in some processes. The results also showed that although the yield per plant was slightly decreased, the increase plant density was expected to increase total rice yield per unit area.
The above results published in Plant Biotechnology Journal. Prof. Lin focuses on the research of phytohormonal regulation of plant growth and development, especially for BR regulation of seed development and crop yield (http://www.seedlin.sjtu.edu.cn). This paper is the newest one of her research in this field. Dr. Yan-Jie Zhang is the first author and Prof. Wen-Hui Lin is the corresponding author. Prof. Hong-Wei Xue from Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences; and Prof. Sheng Luan from University of California, Berkeley; participated in this research. This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China, the Ministry of Agriculture of China, and the Natural Science Foundation of China.
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