– Part of the CDA Fall Lecture Series.
Speaker: Jiayang Li
Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) of the CAS
Symbiosis – hosted by Prof. Jesse Poland
Cultivated rice varieties are all diploid, and polyploidization of rice has long been desired because of its advantages in genome buffering, vigorousness, and environmental robustness. However, a workable route remains elusive. Here, we describe a practical strategy, namely de novo domestication of wild allotetraploid rice. By screening allotetraploid wild rice inventory we identified one genotype of Oryza alta (CCDD), Polyploid Rice 1 (PPR1), and established two important resources for its de novo domestication: 1) an efficient tissue culture, transformation and genome editing system, and 2) a high-quality genome assembly discriminated into two subgenomes of 12 chromosomes apiece. With these resources we show that six agronomically important traits could be rapidly improved by editing O. alta homologs of the genes controlling these traits in diploid rice. Our results demonstrate the possibility that de novo domesticated allotetraploid rice can be developed into a new staple cereal to strengthen world food security.
About the Speaker
Jiayang Li earned his PhD in Biology from Brandeis University in 1991, MS in Biology from IGDB in 1984, and BS in Agronomy from Anhui Agricultural College in 1981. After completing his postdoctoral research at Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University, he was recruited as a professor of plant molecular genetics by IGDB in 1995. His work mainly focuses on the elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying plant architecture, breeding of high-yield, superior-quality, stress-resistant and resource-use-efficiency crops through molecular design and marker-assisted breeding, and the de novo domestication of wild allotetraploid rice.
Jiayang Li was elected as an academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2001 and as a member or foreign member of academies, including the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) in 2004, the USA National Academy of Sciences in 2011, the German Academy of Sciences in 2012, EMBO in 2013, the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences in 2014, and the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge in 2015. He has become one of the Highly Cited Researchers in 2014, 2018, 2019 and 2020, and was awarded prizes including the National Natural Science Award (First Class) in 2017, Qiu Shi Outstanding Scientific Research Team Award in 2017, Future Science Prize in 2018, the TAN KAN KEE Science Award in 2018, and TWAS-Lenovo Science Award in 2020. Jiayang Li is currently Professor of the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) of the CAS.
Professor, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology (IGDB) of the CAS