Mutations in a subfamily of ABA receptor genes promote rice growth and productivity ($)

Like all plant hormones, ABA controls diverse processes, including stomatal aperture and seed dormancy, and growth rate. Miao et al. have used CRISPR/Cas9 technology in rice to selectively mutant subsets of the 13-member PYL family of ABA receptors.  They found notable differences when mutating group I (PYL1PYL6 and PYL12) versus group II (PYL7PYL11 and PYL13) PYL genes, including differences in growth rate, heading date, and seed dormancy. Notably, in field conditions, pyl1/4/6 had 25% or 31% increased grain yield as compared to wild type. (Summary by Mary Williams) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 10.1073/pnas.1804774115