Synthetic apomixis enables stable transgenerational transmission of heterotic phenotypes in hybrid rice

Chaolei Liu, Zexue He, Yan Zhang, Fengyue Hu, Mengqi Li, Qing Liu, Yong Huang, Jian Wang, Wenli Zhang, Chun Wang, Kejian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In hybrid plants, heterosis often produces large, vigorous plants with high yields; however, hybrid seeds are generated by costly and laborious crosses of inbred parents. Apomixis, in which a plant produces a clone of itself via asexual reproduction through seeds, may produce another revolution in plant biology. Recently, synthetic apomixis enabled clonal reproduction of F1 hybrids through seeds in rice (Oryza sativa), but the inheritance of the synthetic apomixis trait and superior heterotic phenotypes across generations remained unclear. Here, we propagated clonal plants to the T4 generation and investigated their genetic and molecular stability at each generation. By analyzing agronomic traits, as well as the genome, methylome, transcriptome, and allele-specific transcriptome, we showed that the descendant clonal plants remained stable. Unexpectedly, in addition to normal clonal seeds, the plants also produced a few aneuploids that had eliminated large genomic segments in each generation. Despite the identification of rare aneuploids, the observation that the synthetic apomixis trait is stably transmitted through multiple generations helps confirm the feasibility of using apomixis in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100470
JournalPlant Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 13 2023


  • hybrid rice
  • stability
  • synthetic apomixis
  • transgenerational heredity


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