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Green revolution

A mutant gibberellin-synthesis gene in rice

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

Abstract

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.

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

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Correspondence to M. Matsuoka.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Sasaki, A., Ashikari, M., Ueguchi-Tanaka, M. et al. A mutant gibberellin-synthesis gene in rice. Nature 416, 701–702 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1038/416701a

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