MSD1 regulates pedicellate spikelet fertility in sorghum through the jasmonic acid pathway

Yinping Jiao, Young Koung Lee, Nicholas Gladman, Ratan Chopra, Shawn A. Christensen, Michael Regulski, Gloria Burow, Chad Hayes, John Burke, Doreen Ware, Zhanguo Xin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Grain number per panicle (GNP) is a major determinant of grain yield in cereals. However, the mechanisms that regulate GNP remain unclear. To address this issue, we isolate a series of sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] multiseeded (msd) mutants that can double GNP by increasing panicle size and altering floral development so that all spikelets are fertile and set grain. Through bulk segregant analysis by next-generation sequencing, we identify MSD1 as a TCP (Teosinte branched/Cycloidea/PCF) transcription factor. Whole-genome expression profiling reveals that jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthetic enzymes are transiently activated in pedicellate spikelets. Young msd1 panicles have 50% less JA than wild-type (WT) panicles, and application of exogenous JA can rescue the msd1 phenotype. Our results reveal a new mechanism for increasing GNP, with the potential to boost grain yield, and provide insight into the regulation of plant inflorescence architecture and development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number822
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Y.J., R.C., G.B., J.B., C.H. and Z.X. acknowledge support from the United Sorghum Checkoff program. Z.X. was also partly supported by USDA ARS 3096-21000-019-00-D. Y.J., Y.K.L., N.G., M.R. and D.W. were partly supported by USDA ARS 8062-21000-041-00D; Y.K.L. acknowledges support from Brain Pool Program funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT through the National Research Foundation of Korea (2018H1D3A2002524); N.G. was supported by an ARS-funded postdoc fellowship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


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