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    Seed weight is one of the most important agronomic traits in soybean for yield improvement and food production. Several quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with the trait have been identified in soybean. However, the genes underlying the QTLs and their functions remain largely unknown. Using forward genetic methods and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, we identified and characterized the role of GmKIX8-1 in the control of organ size in soybean. GmKIX8-1 belongs to a family of KIX domain-containing proteins that negatively regulate cell proliferation in plants. Consistent with this predicted function, we found that loss-of-function GmKIX8-1 mutants showed a significant increase in the size of aerial plant organs, such as seeds and leaves. Likewise, the increase in organ size is due to increased cell proliferation, rather than cell expansion, and increased expression of CYCLIN D3;1-10. Lastly, molecular analysis of soybean germplasms harboring the qSw17-1 QTL for the big-seeded phenotype indicated that reduced expression of GmKIX8-1 is the genetic basis of the qSw17-1 phenotype. © 2020 The Authors New Phytologist © 2020 New Phytologist Foundation.


    Cuong X Nguyen, Kyle J Paddock, Zhanyuan Zhang, Minviluz G Stacey. GmKIX8-1 regulates organ size in soybean and is the causative gene for the major seed weight QTL qSw17-1. The New phytologist. 2021 Jan;229(2):920-934

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    PMID: 32939760

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