Trends in plant science 2012 10
Can heterotrimeric G proteins help to feed the world?
Recently, two important yield quantitative trait loci (QTLs), GS3 and DEP1, have been cloned in rice (Oryza sativa). Although their relationship has not been established in the 'rice literature', a recent report identified them as heterotrimeric G protein γ subunits. This identification has profound consequences for our current understanding of both QTLs and the plant G protein signaling network and this opinion article discusses how manipulation of G protein signaling may lead to yield improvements in rice and other crop species. Finally, a mechanistic model to explain the seemingly conflicting phenotypes produced by different GS3 and DEP1 alleles is proposed.