Convergent selection of a WD40 protein that enhances grain yield in maize and rice

Chen, Wenkang, Chen, Lu, Zhang, Xuan, Yang, Ning, Guo, Jianghua, Wang, Min, Ji, Shenghui, Zhao, Xiangyu, Yin, Pengfei, Cai, Lichun, Xu, Jing, Zhang, Lili, Han, Yingjia, Xiao, Yingni, Xu, Gen, Wang, Yuebin, Wang, Shuhui, Wu, Sheng, Yang, Fang, Jackson, David, Cheng, Jinkui, Chen, Saihua, Sun, Chuanqing, Qin, Feng, Tian, Feng, Fernie, Alisdair R, Li, Jiansheng, Yan, Jianbing, Yang, Xiaohong (March 2022) Convergent selection of a WD40 protein that enhances grain yield in maize and rice. Science, 375 (6587). eabg7985. ISSN 0036-8075

DOI: 10.1126/science.abg7985


A better understanding of the extent of convergent selection among crops could greatly improve breeding programs. We found that the quantitative trait locus KRN2 in maize and its rice ortholog, OsKRN2, experienced convergent selection. These orthologs encode WD40 proteins and interact with a gene of unknown function, DUF1644, to negatively regulate grain number in both crops. Knockout of KRN2 in maize or OsKRN2 in rice increased grain yield by ~10% and ~8%, respectively, with no apparent trade-offs in other agronomic traits. Furthermore, genome-wide scans identified 490 pairs of orthologous genes that underwent convergent selection during maize and rice evolution, and these were enriched for two shared molecular pathways. KRN2, together with other convergently selected genes, provides an excellent target for future crop improvement.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > plant > maize
organism description > plant > Oryza
organism description > plant behavior > crop yield improvement
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Jackson lab
SWORD Depositor: CSHL Elements
Depositing User: CSHL Elements
Date: 25 March 2022
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2022 18:36
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2022 18:36

Actions (login required)

Administrator's edit/view item Administrator's edit/view item
CSHL HomeAbout CSHLResearchEducationNews & FeaturesCampus & Public EventsCareersGiving