Li, G., Kuijer, H.N.J., Yang, X. et al. MADS1 maintains barley spike morphology at high ambient temperatures. Nat. Plants (2021).
In this paper,Gang Li and colleagues describe how the induction of CRISPR induced knockout mutations in the MADS1 gene induces a striking change in branching morphology of the barley spike when grown at progressively higher ambient temperatures from 15oC to 28oC. Using a range of sophisticated techniques, the authors show that HvMADS1 directly regulates an enzyme that degrades the plant hormone cytokinin, which is normally required to repress cell cycle/division in the specialised tissues that specify inflorescence branching and floret development.