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Natural variation in the promoter of TGW2 determines grain width and weight in rice
Banpu Ruan+, Lianguang Shang+, Bin Zhang, Jiang Hu, Yuexing Wang, Hai Lin, Anpeng Zhang, Chaolei Liu, Youlin Peng, Li Zhu, Deyong Ren, Lan Shen, Guojun Dong, Guangheng Zhang, Dali Zeng, Longbiao Guo, Qian Qian* and Zhenyu Gao*
New Phytologist

Abstract

Summary

Understanding the genetic basis of natural variation in grain size among diverse rice varieties can help breeders develop high‐yielding rice cultivars.

Here, we report the discovery of qTGW2 , a new semidominant quantitative trait locus for grain width and weight. The corresponding gene, TGW2 , encodes CELL NUMBER REGULATOR 1 (OsCNR1) localized to the plasma membrane.

A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variation 1818 bp upstream of TGW2 is responsible for its different expression, leading to alteration in grain width and weight by influencing cell proliferation and expansion in glumes. TGW2 interacts with KRP1, a regulator of cell cycle in plants, to negatively regulate grain width and weight. Genetic diversity analysis of TGW2 in 141 rice accessions revealed it as a breeding target in a selective sweep region.

Our findings provide new insights into the genetic mechanism underlying grain morphology and grain weight, and uncover a promising gene for improving rice yield.