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The Otubain-like Protease WTG1 Regulates Grain Size and Shape in Rice
Rice is an important food crops worldwide, and more than half of the population in the world uses rice as the food resources. Rice grain size and shape are two key agronomic traits determining grain yield and appearance. Several genes for grain size and shape have been identified, but the molecular mechanisms underlying grain size and shape control remains largely unclear.
A recent study by Dr. LI Yunhai’s group at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in collaboration with Dr. WANG Dekai at Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, isolated a wide and thick grain 1 (wtg1-1) mutant and identified the WTG1 gene which regulates grain size and shape in rice.
They found that WTG1 encodes an otubain-like protease with deubiquitination activity and shares similarity with human OTUB1. Cellular analysis indicates WTG1 mainly influences cell expansion in spikelet hulls. The wtg1-1 mutant produces wide, thick, short, heavy grains and increases grain number per main panicle. Overexpression of WTG1 causes narrow, thin and long grains.
These findings revealed a novel otubain-like protease WTG1 that regulates grain size and shape, and it has the potential to increase grain size and yield in rice.
This work entitled “WIDE AND THICK GRAIN 1, Which Encodes an Otubain-like Protease with Deubiquitination Activity, Influences Grain Size and Shape in Rice” was published in The Plant Journal (DOI:10.1111/tpj.13613).
This work was supported by grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Ministry of Agriculture of China.
Figure. WTG1 regulates grain size, grain shape and grain weight. (Image by IGDB)
Dr. LI Yunhai