A transcriptional regulator that boosts grain yields and shortens the growth duration of rice

Science. 2022 Jul 22;377(6604):eabi8455. doi: 10.1126/science.abi8455. Epub 2022 Jul 22.


Complex biological processes such as plant growth and development are often under the control of transcription factors that regulate the expression of large sets of genes and activate subordinate transcription factors in a cascade-like fashion. Here, by screening candidate photosynthesis-related transcription factors in rice, we identified a DREB (Dehydration Responsive Element Binding) family member, OsDREB1C, in which expression is induced by both light and low nitrogen status. We show that OsDREB1C drives functionally diverse transcriptional programs determining photosynthetic capacity, nitrogen utilization, and flowering time. Field trials with OsDREB1C-overexpressing rice revealed yield increases of 41.3 to 68.3% and, in addition, shortened growth duration, improved nitrogen use efficiency, and promoted efficient resource allocation, thus providing a strategy toward achieving much-needed increases in agricultural productivity.

MeSH terms

  • Crop Production*
  • Edible Grain* / genetics
  • Edible Grain* / growth & development
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Oryza* / genetics
  • Oryza* / growth & development
  • Photosynthesis* / genetics
  • Plant Proteins* / genetics
  • Plant Proteins* / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors* / genetics
  • Transcription Factors* / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Nitrogen