Grain size and weight are among the vital yield-related traits observed in
crops. In a study conducted by Kansas State University,CRISPR-Cas9 was used
to edit TaGW7, a homolog of rice OsGW7 encoding a TONNEAU1-recruiting motif
(TRM) protein, which led to modifications in grain shape and weight in
allohexaploid wheat. The results are published in The Plant Journal.
Editing the TaGW7 homoeologs in the B and D genomes led to mutations that
caused an increase in grain width and weight but decreased the length of the
grain. It was found that the effects of gene editing on grain morphology and
weight characteristics depend on the amount of dosage, with the double-copy
mutant having a greater impact than the respective single copy mutants. The
TaGW7$B!>(Bcentered gene co$B!>(Bexpression network showed that this gene is linked
to the pathways involved in cell division and organ growth, as confirmed by
the cellular colocalization of TaGW7 with $B&A!>(B and $B&B!>(Btubulin proteins, the
building blocks of microtubule arrays. Further analyses also showed that
TaGW7 likely played a vital function in the evolution of yield
characteristics in wheat.