Open Access Research

A point mutation in the zinc finger motif of RID1/EHD2/OsID1 protein leads to outstanding yield-related traits in japonica rice variety Wuyunjing 7

Shikai Hu, Guojun Dong, Jie Xu, Yan Su, Zhenyuan Shi, Weijun Ye, Yuanyuan Li, Gengmi Li, Bin Zhang, Jiang Hu, Qian Qian, Dali Zeng* and Longbiao Guo*

Author Affiliations

State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou 310006, China

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Rice 2013, 6:24  doi:10.1186/1939-8433-6-24

Published: 18 October 2013

Abstract

Background

Flowering time, which is often associated with the length of the growth period in rice, determines the adaptability of a plant to various environments. However, little is known about how flowering-time genes affect panicle development and yield formation potential in rice after inducing the transition from vegetative growth to reproductive growth.

Results

To explore the relationship between floral induction and yield formation and the molecular mechanism of panicle development in rice, a novel mutant, ghd10, was identified from japonica variety Wuyunjing 7 plants subjected to ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) treatment. The ghd10 mutant exhibited delayed flowering time, tall stalks and increased panicle length and primary branch number. Map-based cloning revealed that Ghd10 encodes a transcription factor with Cys-2/His-2-type zinc finger motifs. Ghd10 is orthologous to INDETERMINATE1 (ID1), which promotes flowering in maize (Zea mays) and is identical to the previously cloned genes Rice Indeterminate1 (RID1), Early heading date2 (Ehd2) and OsId1. Transient expression analysis of the Ghd10-GFP fusion protein in tobacco mesophyll cells showed that this protein is expressed in the nucleus. Ghd10 mRNA accumulated most abundantly in developing leaves and panicle structures, but rarely in roots. Expression analysis revealed that the expression levels of Ehd1, Hd1, RFT1, Hd3a and OsMADS15 decreased dramatically under both short-day and long-day conditions in ghd10.

Conclusion

These results indicate that Ghd10, which encodes a promoter of flowering, influences plant height and panicle development by regulating the expression levels of some flowering-related genes, such as Ehd1, Hd1, OsMADS15 and others. The ghd10 allele is a useful resource for improvement of panicle traits in rice grown in tropical and low-latitude areas.

Keywords:
Heading date; Plant height; Panicle development; Plant architecture; Map-based cloning