Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2019, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (5): 550-553.DOI: 10.11983/CBB19163

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Long Noncoding RNA Ef-cd Promotes Maturity Without Yield Penalty in Rice

Shuo Zhang,Changyin Wu()   

  1. National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
  • Received:2019-08-20 Accepted:2019-08-24 Online:2019-09-01 Published:2019-03-01
  • Contact: Changyin Wu


In rice breeding, ‘high yielding’ and ‘early maturing’ are negative-reciprocally regulated traits. A recent study identified a major maturity duration regulatory gene, Early flowering-completely dominant (Ef-cd), which encodes a long noncoding RNA. Ef-cd IncRNA overlaps with the antisense transcript of the OsSOC1 gene. Ef-cd positively regulates the expression of OsSOC1 and H3K36me3 deposition. Varieties and their derivatived hybrids harboring Ef-cd allele show 7-20 d early-maturation compared to their respective wild types at different latitudes, but without a concomitant yield penalty. Moreover, among 1 439 elite hybrid rice varieties, all of the hybrid cultivars with homozygous or heterozygous Ef-cd alleles mature significantly earlier. The mechanism of Ef-cd-promoted maturity without yield penalty is attributed to its facilitating nitrogen utilization and improving photosynthesis. Thus, Ef-cd may balance early maturating with stable grain yield, and can be used for molecular design breeding in rice.

Key words: rice, lncRNA, heading date, yield