Mapping of seed shattering loci provides insights into origin of weedy rice and rice domestication.
The Rc locus regulates pigmentation of the rice bran layer, and selection for the rc allele (white pericarp) occurred during domestication of the crop. White bran is now ubiquitous among cultivated varieties throughout rice growing regions of the world. We identified a new allele that arose by natural mutation within the rc pseudogene of the cultivar ‘Wells’. The mutation restored the reading frame of the gene, and reverted the bran layer pigmentation to red (wild-type). By sequencing the Rc locus in plants derived from red seeds, and linkage analysis in a segregating population, we were able to demonstrate that mutation within rc resulted in the new, dominant, wild-type allele Rc-g.