One of the vital target traits in improving rice production is the duration
of rice growth phase. Identifying mutations in rice that change these
processes to cause shorter growth phase could have potential benefits for
crop production. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food
Chemistry presents an early-aging rice mutant, pe-1.
The researchers isolated pe-1 using ?-mutated Indica rice cultivar and
subsequent screening methods. The pe-1 has decreased chlorophyll content,
manifested by its light green leaves; enhanced photosynthesis; and decreased
pollen fertility. Analysis of expression patterns showed that PE-1 was
mainly present in roots, stems, leaves, leaf sheaths, and young panicles.
CRISPR-Cas9 was used to knockout PE-1, leading to decreased chlorophyll
content and down-regulated expression of PE-1 related genes.
The results suggest that PE-1 work as a master regulator in controlling
chlorophyll biosynthesis and photosynthetic pathways.