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OsMATL mutation induces haploid seed formation in indica rice

Nature Plants (2018) | Download Citation


Intraspecific haploid induction in maize (Zea mays) is triggered by a native frameshift mutation in MATRILINEAL (MATL), which encodes a pollen-specific phospholipase. To develop a haploid inducer in rice (Oryza sativa), we generated an allelic series in the putative ZmMATL orthologue, OsMATL, and found that knockout mutations led to a reduced seed set and a 2–6% haploid induction rate. This demonstrates MATL functional conservation and represents a major advance for rice breeding.

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We thank D. Starr for work on the maize TILLING lines. We also thank X. Zhang, X. Chen, X. Li, J. Xu, K. White, R. Quadt and B. Zhang for leadership and project guidance and laboratory and greenhouse support. We thank J. Green for syntenic alignment and C. Leming for intellectual property guidance. We also thank H. Gandhi, Q. Que, N. Juba, G. Hu, B. Link, W. Cao, C. Kramer and C. Li for guidance.

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Author notes

  1. These authors contributed equally: Li Yao, Ya Zhang.


  1. Syngenta Beijing Innovation Center, ZhongGuanCun Life Science Park, Beijing, China

    • Li Yao
    • , Ya Zhang
    • , Chunxia Liu
    • , Yubo Liu
    • , Yanli Wang
    • , Dawei Liang
    •  & Juntao Liu
  2. Syngenta India Limited, Technology Centre, Medchal Mandal, India

    • Gayatri Sahoo
  3. Seeds Research, Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

    • Timothy Kelliher


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L.Y. managed the laboratory work and performed plant sequence and editing allele analysis. Y.Z. managed the greenhouse activities, including donor and E0 growth, and E0 and E1 phenotyping. C.L. performed the vector design and construction. Y.L. and Y.W. performed the rice transformation and event analysis. D.L. provided greenhouse and phenotyping support as well as laboratory support. J.L. led the later stages of the project and helped to organize and compose the manuscript draft. G.S. provided doubled haploid production advice and tested the HIR and seed set of rice TILLING lines. T.K. managed the maize TILLING allele analysis and provided overall project guidance and support, and edited the manuscript.

Competing interests

A patent covering the information in this manuscript was submitted on 18 November 2016.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Timothy Kelliher.

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