Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Peking University
reported thatgene editingof an APETALA2/ethylene responsive factor
(AP2/ERF) transcription factor,/DUO1/, could lead to better wheat grain
yield. Their findings are featured in/Nature Plants/.
Wheatis one of the most important food crops worldwide. To help improve
food production, it is vital to pinpoint new locations in the wheat
genomethat can help improve its yield. Thus, the researchers analyzed
the key genes involved in spikelet number.
They investigated/Brachypodium distachyon/spikelet mutant/bdduo1/, which
has an increased number of spikelets per spike. They further clarified
the role of/BdDUO1/in the regulation of spike shape in/Brachypodium
distachyon/through a series of tests. Then, usingCRISPR-Cas9, they
edited thegeneand came up with wheat plants exhibiting multiple
spikelets in the lower middle part of the spikes. Furthermore, live
imaging showed that there were more and larger cells in the basal
spikelet primordia of the gene-edited wheat compared to the wild type
which may imply that the gene is involved in regulating cell division.
Field tests showed that the gene-edited wheat plants developed more
grains per spike than the wild type, indicating an increase in yield per
Improving bread wheat yield through modulating an unselected AP2/ERF
gene | Nature Plants [www.nature.com