Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

That's the Shape of It

Two groups of researchers have homed in on the gene responsible for the shape and texture of rice, Nature News reports.

The teams, both from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, zeroed in on the gene alternatively known as GL7 or GW7, and linked variants in it to long, thin rice grains that lack a chalky taste, as they reported in Nature Genetics.

GL7 affects grain shape by promoting longitudinal cell division rather than transverse cell division, and the more copies of the gene variant the rice plant has, the more slender its rice grains, Nature News notes, adding that the slender allele is dominant. The variant, it adds, doesn't seem to affect yield.

Some breeders had already unknowingly taken advantage of this gene, as it is highly expressed in two US rice varieties and one Chinese variety. But now that it's been uncovered, Nature News says it can more easily be targeted.

"There are already some varieties that exist in the Chinese market that contain these alleles," says Guosheng Xiong from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, one of the papers' authors, tells Nature News. "But with this knowledge, we can introduce it to some varieties that have good taste and cooking qualities but don't look good."

The Scan

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.

Study Finds Variants Linked to Diverticular Disease, Presents Polygenic Score

A new study in Cell Genomics reports on more than 150 genetic variants associated with risk of diverticular disease.

Mild, Severe Psoriasis Marked by Different Molecular Features, Spatial Transcriptomic Analysis Finds

A spatial transcriptomics paper in Science Immunology finds differences in cell and signaling pathway activity between mild and severe psoriasis.

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.