I tanti Pinocchi che circolano lo finiranno per chiamare Riso Pesce, ma il pesce non c’entra nulla. Alcuni ricercatori hanno identificato il gene che potrebbe consentire al riso di crescere in aree più’ fredde di quelle dove e’ oggi coltivato. Il gene e’ un gene di riso e naturalmente gli scienziati sono cinesi.
Rice is sensitive to cold and can be grown only in certain climate zones. Human selection of japonica rice has extended its growth zone to regions with lower temperature, while the molecular basis of this adaptation remains unknown. Here, we identify the quantitative trait locus COLD1 that confers chilling tolerance in japonica rice. Overexpression of COLD1jap significantly enhances chilling tolerance, whereas rice lines with deficiency or downregulation of COLD1jap are sensitive to cold. COLD1 encodes a regulator of G-protein signaling that localizes on plasma membrane and endoplasmic reticulum (ER). It interacts with the G-protein α subunit to activate the Ca2+ channel for sensing low temperature and to accelerate G-protein GTPase activity. We further identify that a SNP in COLD1, SNP2, originated from Chinese Oryza rufipogon, is responsible for the ability of COLDjap/ind to confer chilling tolerance, supporting the importance of COLD1 in plant adaptation.