Improving Rice Eating and Cooking Quality by Enhancing Endogenous Expression of a Nitrogen-dependent Floral Regulator
Published:11 Sep.2023    Source:Plant Biotechnology Journal

Improving rice eating and cooking quality (ECQ) is one of the primary tasks in rice production to meet the rising demands of consumers. However, improving grain ECQ without compromising yield faces a great challenge under varied nitrogen (N) supplies.

Here, we report the approach to upgrade rice ECQ by native promoter-controlled high expression of a key N-dependent floral and circadian clock regulator Nhd1. The amplification of endogenous Nhd1 abundance alters rice heading date but does not affect the entire length of growth duration, N use efficiency and grain yield under both low and sufficient N conditions. Enhanced expression of Nhd1 reduces amylose content, pasting temperature and protein content while increasing gel consistence in grains. Metabolome and transcriptome analyses revealed that increased expression of Nhd1 mainly regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids in the grain filling stage.
Moreover, expression level of Nhd1 shows a positive relationship with grain ECQ in some local main cultivars. Thus, intensifying endogenous abundance of Nhd1 is a promising strategy to upgrade grain ECQ in rice production.