Cultivated rice varieties are all diploid, and polyploidization of rice has long been desired because of its advantages in genome buffering, vigorousness, and environmental robustness. However, a workable route remains elusive. Here, we describe a practical strategy, namely de novo domestication of wild allotetraploid rice. By screening allotetraploid wild rice inventory, we identified one genotype of Oryza alta (CCDD), polyploid rice 1 (PPR1), and established two important resources for its de novo domestication: (1) an efficient tissue culture, transformation, and genome editing system and (2) a high-quality genome assembly discriminated into two subgenomes of 12 chromosomes apiece. With these resources, we show that six agronomically important traits could be rapidly improved by editing O. alta homologs of the genes controlling these traits in diploid rice. Our results demonstrate the possibility that de novo domesticated allotetraploid rice can be developed into a new staple cereal to strengthen world food security.
Keywords: Oryza alta; comparative genomics; de novo domestication; genetic transformation; genome; genome editing; genome evolution; polyploid; structural variation; tissue culture.
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