Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 275–283 | Cite as

BEAK-SHAPED GRAIN 1/TRIANGULAR HULL 1, a DUF640 gene, is associated with grain shape, size and weight in rice

  • DaWei Yan
  • Ya Zhou
  • ShengHai Ye
  • LongJun Zeng
  • XiaoMing ZhangEmail author
  • ZuHua HeEmail author
Open Access
Research Paper


Grain shape and size both determine grain weight and therefore crop yield. However, the molecular mechanisms controlling grain shape and size are still largely unknown. Here, we isolated a rice mutant, beak-shaped grain1 (bsg1), which produced beak-shaped grains of decreased width, thickness and weight with a loosely interlocked lemma and palea that were unable to close tightly. Starch granules were also irregularly packaged in the bsg1 grains. Consistent with the lemma and palea shapes, the outer parenchyma cell layers of these bsg1 tissues developed fewer cells with decreased size. Map-based cloning revealed that BSG1 encoded a DUF640 domain protein, TRIANGULAR HULL 1, of unknown function. Quantitative PCR and GUS fusion reporter assays showed that BSG1 was expressed mainly in the young panicle and elongating stem. The BSG1 mutation affected the expression of genes potentially involved in the cell cycle and GW2, an important regulator of grain size in rice. Our results suggest that BSG1 determines grain shape and size probably by modifying cell division and expansion in the grain hull.


cell division and expansion DUF640 protein gene expression grain size lemma and palea 

Supplementary material

11427_2013_4449_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (233 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 232 KB.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory Breeding Base for Zhejiang Sustainable Pest and Disease Control, Institute of Crop and Nuclear Technology UtilizationZhejiang Academy of Agricultural SciencesHangzhouChina

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