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.

Volume 2 Issue 1, January 2016

Yielding growth 

A key to sustainability in agriculture is making the most of every hectare of land under cultivation. Three independent genetic studies focus on a regulatory module in rice controlling both the number of spikelets on a plant and the size of individual grains.

See Nature Plants 1, 15210 (2015).

Image: Yunhai LiCover design: David Shand


  • Nature Plants has now completed a full year of publication as a journal aimed at all the plant sciences. What better time to assess the extent to which this goal has been met?



Top of page ⤴


Top of page ⤴

Research Highlights

Top of page ⤴

News & Views

  • Three independent genetic studies reveal that the GRF–miR396 module regulates rice grain yield by controlling the number of spikelets or the size of individual grains. These findings provide promising targets for significantly increasing crop yield.

    • Hirokazu Tsukaya
    News & Views
  • Angiosperm evolution involves a major transition from spiral to whorled arrangements of floral organs. Examination of the genetic programs specifying floral organ identity in Nigella damascene, a species of Ranunculaceae with spiral flowers, illuminates the molecular basis of how spiral flowers can have flexible numbers of floral organs.

    • Douglas E. Soltis
    News & Views
Top of page ⤴


Top of page ⤴


  • Central carbon metabolism in cyanobacteria consists of the CBB cycle, glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway and the TCA cycle. Metabolic analyses of mutant and wild-type Synechocystis reveal the presence of a functional phosphoketolase pathway, previously uncharacterized in photosynthetic organisms.

    • Wei Xiong
    • Tai-Chi Lee
    • Jianping Yu
  • How spiral flowers produce organs in variable numbers remains elusive. By studying Nigella damascena, scientists now illuminate the genetic programs that specify floral organ identity and determine the flexibility of organ numbers in spiral flowers.

    • Peipei Wang
    • Hong Liao
    • Hongzhi Kong
  • To understand the mechanisms of grain size control, researchers experimentally reveal that the molecular module miR396/GRF4 regulates rice grain size by activating brassinosteroid signalling. Modulating miR396/GRF4 or brassinosteroid responses can thus be used to improve crop yield.

    • Ronghui Che
    • Hongning Tong
    • Chengcai Chu
  • The regulatory pathway associated with crop yield remains poorly understood. Now researchers have found that blocking miR396 dramatically increases rice grain yield by inducing the GRF6 gene and subsequently activating the auxin pathway and development-related genes.

    • Feng Gao
    • Kun Wang
    • Shaoqing Li
  • The molecular network controlling seed size remains elusive. Using genetic and functional analyses, researchers found that the transcription factor OsGRF4 (GS2) forms a module with its regulator OsmiR396 and coactivator GIFs to regulate grain size in rice.

    • Penggen Duan
    • Shen Ni
    • Yunhai Li
Top of page ⤴

Amendments & Corrections

Top of page ⤴


Quick links