Chinese researchers have identified a gene that enables hybrid rice varieties to have a higher yield and shortens maturity duration by seven to 20 days.
Early-maturing rice cultivars usually have a low-yield.
Although Chinese researchers have developed some early-maturing and high-yielding hybrid rice cultivars, the molecular mechanism underlying remains unclear.
Researchers from the Institute of Genetics and Development Biology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Sichuan Agriculture University conducted the research.
The researchers found that among hybrid rice varieties with a gene named Ef-cd, the nitrogen utilisation was facilitated and photosynthesis rate was improved.
Reporting online in the U.S. journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said Ef-cd could be a vital contributor of elite early maturing hybrid rice varieties in balancing grain yield with maturity duration.
They said the study provides breeders with a valuable genetic resource that is useful for balancing grain yield with maturity duration for further elevating food production.