Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2021, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (2): 134-137.DOI: 10.11983/CBB21022

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Rapid Domestication of Wild Allotetraploid Rice: Starting a New Era of Human Agricultural Civilization

Lubin Tan1,3, Chuanqing Sun2,3,*()   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    2State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    3College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
  • Received:2021-01-27 Accepted:2021-02-01 Online:2021-03-01 Published:2021-03-17
  • Contact: Chuanqing Sun

Abstract: It is an important event in the human history to domesticate wild plants into cultivated crops through selection of favorable genetic variations. Domesticated crops provide food to meet human needs and thereby promote the sustainable development of human civilization. At present, the global food security is becoming a serious challenge owing to the booming human population, the decrease of arable land, and the frequent occurrence of extreme weather. Based on the understanding of molecular mechanism underlying the domestication and important agronomic traits in crops, de novo domesticating wild plants into new crops, an approach combined with high-throughput genome sequencing and genome editing technology, will be one of effective strategies to face this challenge. Recently a team led by Prof. Jiayang Li in Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, successfully de novo domesticated wild allotetraploid rice by optimizing the genetic transformation system, de novoassembling the wild allotetraploid rice (Oryza alta) genome, and editing several genes that control key domestication-related and agronomical traits, including seed shattering, awn, plant architecture, seed size, and heading date. This is a breakthrough study that not only demonstrated the possibility of rapid de novo domestication of wild allotetraploid rice into a staple cereal to strength global food security, but also provided new insights into the utilization of new ideocrops originating from de novo domestication of wild or semi-wild plants in the future.

Key words: wild rice, allotetraploid, genome, genome editing, de novo domestication