Dosage differences in 12-OXOPHYTODIENOATE REDUCTASE genes modulate wheat root growth

Gilad Gabay, Hanchao Wang, Junli Zhang, Jorge I. Moriconi, German F. Burguener, Leonardo D. Gualano, Tyson Howell, Adam Lukaszewski, Brian Staskawicz, Myeong Je Cho, Jaclyn Tanaka, Tzion Fahima, Haiyan Ke, Katayoon Dehesh, Guo Liang Zhang, Jin Ying Gou, Mats Hamberg, Guillermo E. Santa-María, Jorge Dubcovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wheat, an essential crop for global food security, is well adapted to a wide variety of soils. However, the gene networks shaping different root architectures remain poorly understood. We report here that dosage differences in a cluster of monocot-specific 12-OXOPHYTODIENOATE REDUCTASE genes from subfamily III (OPRIII) modulate key differences in wheat root architecture, which are associated with grain yield under water-limited conditions. Wheat plants with loss-of-function mutations in OPRIII show longer seminal roots, whereas increased OPRIII dosage or transgenic over-expression result in reduced seminal root growth, precocious development of lateral roots and increased jasmonic acid (JA and JA-Ile). Pharmacological inhibition of JA-biosynthesis abolishes root length differences, consistent with a JA-mediated mechanism. Transcriptome analyses of transgenic and wild-type lines show significant enriched JA-biosynthetic and reactive oxygen species (ROS) pathways, which parallel changes in ROS distribution. OPRIII genes provide a useful entry point to engineer root architecture in wheat and other cereals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number539
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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