Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Green revolution

A mutant gibberellin-synthesis gene in rice

New insight into the rice variant that helped to avert famine over thirty years ago.


The chronic food shortage that was feared after the rapid expansion of the world population in the 1960s was averted largely by the development of a high-yielding semi-dwarf variety of rice known as IR8, the so-called rice 'green revolution'1,2,3. The short stature of IR8 is due to a mutation in the plant's sd1 gene, and here we identify this gene as encoding an oxidase enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of gibberellin, a plant growth hormone. Gibberellin is also implicated in green-revolution varieties of wheat, but the reduced height of those crops is conferred by defects in the hormone's signalling pathway4.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Effect of a mutant gibberellin-biosynthesis gene in rice.


  1. Hargrove, T. R. & Cabanilla, V. L. BioScience 29, 731–735 (1979).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Dalrymple, D. G. Development and Spread of High-yielding Rice Varieties in Developing Countries (Bur. Sci. Tech., Agency Int. Dev., Washington DC, 1986).

  3. Khush, G. S. Genome 42, 646–655 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Peng, J. et al. Nature 400, 256–261 (1999).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Hooley, R. Plant Mol. Biol. 26, 1529–1555 (1994).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Ross, J. J., Murfet, I. C. & Reid, J. B. Physiol. Plant. 100, 550–560 (1997).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Hedden, P. & Phillips, A. L. Trends Plant Sci. 12, 523–530 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Toyomasu, T. et al. Physiol. Plant. 99, 111–118 (1997).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Xu, Y.-L. et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 92, 6640–6644 (1995).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Maeda, H. et al. Breed. Sci. 47, 317–320 (1997).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Zhang, W., McElroy, D. & Wu, R. Plant Cell 3, 1155–1165 (1991).

    CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to M. Matsuoka.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sasaki, A., Ashikari, M., Ueguchi-Tanaka, M. et al. A mutant gibberellin-synthesis gene in rice. Nature 416, 701–702 (2002).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing