The world population is rapidly increasing and achieving more food with less input is essential. We found that manipulations of cytoskeleton dynamics in the endosperm can enlarge the seed size in A. thaliana, a model plant for molecular and cellular biology. By applying the same concept to grain crops such as soybean, wheat, maize and rice, we might be able to increase the grain yield. Therefore, this new discovery should enable greater food security. We found that cellular structural components called cytoskeletons show unique dynamics during endosperm development and also found that one of the cytoskeletons, called actin filament, involves in seed size determination. We believe that if we can increase the size of grain crop seeds by manipulating actin filament dynamics in the endosperm, we could go a long way to reducing food insecurity.

-Tomo Kawashima

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