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Whether phenotypic mean values and plasticity share similar genetic architectures remains elusive. A study examining multiple traits in a maize NAM population using GWAS showed that genes underlying mean and plasticity measures form distinct groups.
SHATTERING 4 is a key rice domestication gene. A non-synonymous mutation of this gene was found to be selected during Asian rice domestication as it confers non-shattering. Now, a nonsense mutation of SHATTERING 4 is shown to simultaneously result in non-shattering and small grain size during the independent domestication of African rice.
A long and almost uncrossable distance separates fundamental plant research carried out predominantly in rich countries, and the production of better crops in the fields of poor farmers from developing regions. A unique network of international organizations involved in global agriculture helps bridge that chasm.
A genetic screen in the model panicoid grass Setaria viridis reveals the importance of the auxin transporter AUX1 for inflorescence branching in maize, highlighting how model plants can accelerate gene discovery in complex crops.