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Adaptation to high latitudes through a novel allele of Hd3a strongly promoting heading date in rice
Wednesday, 2023/05/31 | 07:48:44

Zhongmin HanXiangliang LeiHanjing ShaJia liuChuanzhong ZhangJingguo WangHongliang ZhengDetang Zou & Jun Fang


Theoretical and Applied Genetics June 2023; vol. 136, Article number: 141


Photo: ©FAO/Luc GenotKey message


A novel Hd3a allele strongly promoting rice heading date was identified, and it functions through florigen activation complex (FAC) and was selected during the spread of rice cultivation to high-latitude areas.


Heading date is a critical agronomic trait for rice that determines the utilization of light and temperature conditions and thereby affects grain yield. Rice is a short day (SD) plant, and its photoperiodic information is processed by complex pathways and integrated by florigens to control flowering. In this study, we identified a novel allele for the florigen gene Heading date 3a (Hd3a), characterized by a C435G substitution in its coding region, by a genome-wide association study (GWAS) approach in a panel of 199 high-latitude japonica rice varieties. The C435G substitution induces plants to flower 10 days earlier in high-latitude area (long day condition). Then, we mutated C435 to G in Hd3a by prime editing and found the point mutation plants flowered 12 days earlier. Further molecular experiments showed the novel Hd3a protein can interact with GF14b protein and increase the expression of OsMADS14, the output gene of florigen activation complex (FAC). Molecular signatures of selection indicated that the novel Hd3a allele was selected during the process of rice cultivation expansion into high-latitude areas. Collectively, these results provide new insights into heading date regulation in high-latitude areas and advance improvements to rice adaptability to enhance crop yield.


See https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-023-04391-1

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