Coordinated regulation of photosynthesis in rice increases yield and tolerance to environmental stress

Nat Commun. 2014 Oct 31:5:5302. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6302.


Plants capture solar energy and atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) through photosynthesis, which is the primary component of crop yield, and needs to be increased considerably to meet the growing global demand for food. Environmental stresses, which are increasing with climate change, adversely affect photosynthetic carbon metabolism (PCM) and limit yield of cereals such as rice (Oryza sativa) that feeds half the world. To study the regulation of photosynthesis, we developed a rice gene regulatory network and identified a transcription factor HYR (HIGHER YIELD RICE) associated with PCM, which on expression in rice enhances photosynthesis under multiple environmental conditions, determining a morpho-physiological programme leading to higher grain yield under normal, drought and high-temperature stress conditions. We show HYR is a master regulator, directly activating photosynthesis genes, cascades of transcription factors and other downstream genes involved in PCM and yield stability under drought and high-temperature environmental stress conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Biomass
  • Droughts
  • Edible Grain / growth & development
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Hot Temperature
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / growth & development
  • Oryza / metabolism*
  • Photosynthesis*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plant Roots / growth & development
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / growth & development
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE60936