A study published in the Plant Biotechnology Journal shows that manipulating the expression of jasmonate (JA) pathway genes in rice can modulate diurnal flower-opening time (DFOT) to improve the yield of F1 hybrid seed production (FHSP) and reduce seed production costs.
Hybrid rice breeding has significantly boosted rice yields, especially in inter-subspecific indica–japonica hybrids, which can increase yields by up to 30%. However, the challenge arises from the difference in flower-opening times between indica and japonica varieties, reducing the yield of FHSP and increasing seed costs for farmers, which hinders further breeding progress in this area.
The study revealed that manipulating key genes in the JA pathway, such as OsOPR7, OsHAN1, OsJAZ7, and OsJAZ9, can advance flower opening in japonica rice lines, leading to increased FHSP yields and reduced seed production costs. Moreover, the study found that JA pathway-related genes influence the composition and stiffness of lodicule cell walls, thereby controlling DFOT in rice.
(Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. www.isaaa.org)