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ICS Scientists Reveal New Mechanisms to Increase Wheat Yield Potential

Date:2021-12-24Author:Long MaoSource:

The Crop Bioinformatics and Application Innovation Team led by Professor Long Maoat the Institute of Crop Sciences of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (ICS-CAAS) revealed the functions of wheat AGL6 genein floral organs identity and spikelet meristem development. The research waspublished on the international journal Plant Biotechnology Journal.

According to the corresponding author Professor Aili Li, spike number per unit area, grain number per spike and thousand-grain weight are the “three main components” determining wheat yield, and the grain number per spike plays an important role in the high yield of wheat. Wheat bears inflorescences in the form of a spike, with a main axis of two ranks of lateral spikelets directly attaching to the rachis, or so-called distichous spikes. The basic unit of wheat spikes is spikelet which is composed by several florets. The spike architecture has a large effect on spikelet and floret development and therefore the final grain number per spike, and then yield.

The study found that the wheat AGL6 gene functions in all fourwhorls of floral organs including palea, lodicule, stamens and pistil, and affects the grain number per spikein a dosage dependent manner. Florets with all AGL6homoeolog mutatedare completely sterile. In addition, wheat AGL6 protein can interact with the G protein subunit that may be involved in spikelet meristem developmentin a form ofprotein complexes. This article reveals the functional and regulatory mechanism of AGL6 in wheat floral organs and spikeletmeristem development. The knowledge should help in the effort to increase of spikelet number per spike and grain number per spike by manipulatingAGL6 expression, such that to expedite high-yield wheat cultivar breeding.

Thework was conducted in collaboration with Professors Xiujing Lan and Dengcai Liu at the Triticeae Research Institute of Sichuan Agricultural University and is financially supported by the China National Key Research and Development Program, National Key Transgenic Program and the CAAS Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Program.

Original link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/pbi.13696