Ishimaru K, Hirotsu N, Madoka Y, Murakami N, Hara N, Onodera H, Kashiwagi T, Ujiie K, Shimizu B, Onishi A, Miyagawa H, Katoh E.
Increases in the yield of rice, a staple crop for more than half of the global population, are imperative to support rapid population growth. Grain weight is a major determining factor of yield. Here, we report the cloning and functional analysis of THOUSAND-GRAIN WEIGHT 6 (TGW6), a gene from the Indian landrace rice Kasalath. TGW6 encodes a novel protein with indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)-glucose hydrolase activity. In sink organs, the Nipponbare tgw6 allele affects the timing of the transition from the syncytial to the cellular phase by controlling IAA supply and limiting cell number and grain length. Most notably, loss of function of the Kasalath allele enhances grain weight through pleiotropic effects on source organs and leads to significant yield increases. Our findings suggest that TGW6 may be useful for further improvements in yield characteristics in most cultivars.