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Natural variant of Rht27, a dwarfing gene, enhances yield potential in wheat

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Key message

Discovery of Rht27, a dwarf gene in wheat, showed potential in enhancing grain yield by reducing plant height.


Plant height plays a crucial role in crop architecture and grain yield, and semi-dwarf Reduced Height (Rht) alleles contribute to lodging resistance and were important in “Green Revolution.” However, the use of these alleles is associated with some negative side effects in some environments, such as reduced coleoptile length, low nitrogen use efficiency, and reduced yield. Therefore, novel dwarf gene resources are needed to pave an alternative route to overcome these side effects. In this study, a super-dwarf mutant rht27 was obtained by the mutagenesis of G1812 (Triticum urartu, the progenitor of the A sub-genome of common wheat). Genetic analysis revealed that the dwarf phenotype was regulated by a single recessive genetic factor. The candidate region for Rht27 was narrowed to a 1.55 Mb region on chromosome 3, within which we found two potential candidate genes that showed polymorphisms between the mutant and non-mutagenized G1812. Furthermore, the natural variants and elite haplotypes of the two candidates were investigated in a natural population of common wheat. The results showed that the natural variants affect grain yield components, and the dwarf haplotypes show the potential in improving agronomic traits and grain yield. Although the mutation in Rht27 results in severe dwarf phenotype in T. urartu, the natural variants in common wheat showed desirable phenotype, which suggests that Rht27 has the potential to improve wheat yield by utilizing its weak allelic mutation or fine-tuning its expression level.

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Data availability

All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the main text article and its supplementary files. The sequence and annotation information of candidate region was submitted in National Library of Medicine (NCBI) under accession no. PP465890. The haplotype full-length sequences of G3404A, G3407A, and G3407B were deposited in NCBI under accession No PP465892-PP465897.


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The authors appreciate Professor Jinfang Chu from Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences for the determination GAs contents.


This research received support from a grant provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 31971877 and 32372138).

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Authors and Affiliations



H-Q L, SZ, and JN conceived the project; JN and XL conducted experiments, analyzed data, and plotted figures; SZ collected the parental materials and developed the mapping population; ST assisted in experiments conduction and field work; YS and SM assisted in data analysis and discussion; JN wrote the draft manuscript. H-Q L, SZ, JN, and SM revised the manuscript. All authors approved the final version for submission.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Hong-Qing Ling or Jianqing Niu.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Communicated by Susanne Dreisigacker.

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Liu, X., Zheng, S., Tian, S. et al. Natural variant of Rht27, a dwarfing gene, enhances yield potential in wheat. Theor Appl Genet 137, 128 (2024).

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