superwoman1-cleistogamy, a hopeful allele for gene containment in GM rice

Plant Biotechnol J. 2007 Nov;5(6):835-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7652.2007.00291.x. Epub 2007 Aug 31.


Cleistogamy is an efficient strategy for preventing gene flow from genetically modified (GM) crops. We identified a cleistogamous mutant of rice harbouring a missense mutation (the 45th residue isoleucine to threonine; I45T) in the class-B MADS-box gene SUPERWOMAN1 (SPW1), which specifies the identities of lodicules (equivalent to petals) and stamens. In the mutant, spw1-cls, the stamens are normal, but the lodicules are transformed homeotically to lodicule-glume mosaic organs, thereby engendering cleistogamy. Since this mutation does not affect other agronomic traits, it can be used in crosses to produce transgenic lines that do not cause environmental perturbation. Molecular analysis revealed that the reduced heterodimerization ability of SPW1(I45T) with its counterpart class-B proteins OsMADS2 and OsMADS4 caused altered lodicule identity. spw1-cls is the first useful mutant for practical gene containment in GM rice. Cleistogamy is possible in many cereals by engineering class-B floral homeotic genes and thereby inducing lodicule identity changes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Flowers / anatomy & histology
  • Flowers / genetics*
  • Flowers / growth & development
  • Gene Expression
  • Genetic Engineering
  • MADS Domain Proteins / genetics*
  • MADS Domain Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Oryza / anatomy & histology
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Oryza / growth & development
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / adverse effects
  • Transgenes


  • MADS Domain Proteins