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Nat Genet. 2008 Nov;40(11):1365-9. doi: 10.1038/ng.247. Epub 2008 Sep 28.

Genetic control of rice plant architecture under domestication.

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National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 300 Fenglin Road, Shanghai 200032, China.


The closely related wild rice species Oryza rufipogon is considered the progenitor of cultivated rice (Oryza sativa). The transition from the characteristic plant architecture of wild rice to that of cultivated rice was one of the most important events in rice domestication; however, the molecular basis of this key domestication transition has not been elucidated. Here we show that the PROG1 gene controls aspects of wild-rice plant architecture, including tiller angle and number of tillers. The gene encodes a newly identified zinc-finger nuclear transcription factor with transcriptional activity and is mapped on chromosome 7. PROG1 is predominantly expressed in the axillary meristems, the site of tiller bud formation. Rice transformation experiments demonstrate that artificial selection of an amino acid substitution in the PROG1 protein during domestication led to the transition from the plant architecture of wild rice to that of domesticated rice.

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