Heading date 1 (Hd1), an ortholog of Arabidopsis CONSTANS, is a possible target of human selection during domestication to diversify flowering times of cultivated rice

Genes Genet Syst. 2011;86(3):175-82. doi: 10.1266/ggs.86.175.


During the domestication of rice (Oryza sativa L.), diversification of flowering time was important in expanding the areas of cultivation. Rice is a facultative short day (SD) plant and requires certain periods of dark to induce flowering. Heading date 1 (Hd1), a regulator of the florigen gene Hd3a, is one of the main factors used to generate diversity in flowering. Loss-of-function alleles of Hd1 are common in cultivated rice and cause the diversity of flowering time. However, it is unclear how these functional nucleotide polymorphisms of Hd1 accumulated in the course of evolution. Nucleotide polymorphisms within Hd1 and Hd3a were analyzed in 38 accessions of ancestral wild rice Oryza rufipogon and compared with those of cultivated rice. In contrast to cultivated rice, no nucleotide changes affecting Hd1 function were found in 38 accessions of wild rice ancestors. No functional changes were found in Hd3a in either cultivated or ancestral rice. A phylogenetic analysis indicated that evolution of the Hd1 alleles may have occurred independently in cultivars descended from various accessions of ancestral rice. The non-functional Hd1 alleles found in cultivated rice may be selected during domestication, because they were not found or very rare in wild ancestral rice. In contrast with Hd3a, which has been highly conserved, Hd1 may have undergone human selection to diversify the flowering times of rice during domestication or the early stage of the cultivation period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics*
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Flowers / genetics
  • Flowers / physiology
  • Genes, Plant / genetics*
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Luciferases
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Selection, Genetic*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • CONSTANS protein, Arabidopsis
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Luciferases