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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331150

Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Hard Winter Wheat to Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

Location: Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research

Title: Increasing seed size and quality by manipulating BIG SEEDS 1 in legume species

Author
item GE, LIANGFA - Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc
item YU, JIANBIN - Kansas State University
item Wang, Hongliang
item LUTH, DIANE - Iowa State University
item Bai, Guihua
item WANG, KAN - Iowa State University
item CHEN, RUJIN - Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc

Submitted to: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS)
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/7/2016
Publication Date: 10/17/2016
Publication URL: https://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5695373
Citation: Ge, L., Yu, J., Wang, H., Luth, D., Bai, G., Wang, K., Chen, R. 2016. Increasing seed size and quality by manipulating BIG SEEDS 1 in legume species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1611763113.

Interpretive Summary: Seed size is one of the major agronomic traits that contributes to crop yield. We identified a novel gene, BIG SEEDS1 (BS1), from the species Medicago truncatula, which is a close relative of alfalfa. We found that this gene controls seed size and weight both in Medicago truncatula and soybean . BS1 encodes a plant-specific transcription regulator and plays a key role in controlling the size of seeds, seed pods and leaves, through regulating primary cell proliferation in legumes. This research provides a new strategy for the increase of seed yield and quality in legumes.

Technical Abstract: Plant organs such as seeds are primary sources of food for both humans and animals. Seed size is one of the major agronomic traits that have been selected in crop plants during their domestication. Legume seeds are a major source of dietary proteins and oils. Here, we report a novel and conserved role for BIG SEEDS1 (BS1) gene in the control of seed size and weight in the model legume Medicago truncatula and the grain legume soybean (Glycine max). BS1 encodes a plant-specific transcription regulator and plays a key role in the control of the size of plant organs, including seeds, seed pods and leaves, through a regulatory module that targets primary cell proliferation. Importantly, down-regulation of BS1 orthologs in soybean by an artificial microRNA significantly increased soybean seed size, weight and amino acid content. Our results provide a new strategy for the increase of yield and seed quality in legumes.