Gigantus1, A Newly Identified Gene Target for Improved Plant Growth and Yield in Agricultural Applications

Gts1- knockout plants (Gts-1) displayed faster germination and increased growth compared to wild-type (WT) plants.

Invention Summary:

Rutgers scientists discovered a new gene Gigantus1 (Gts1) in Arabidopsis thaliana, which significantly influences seed germination, growth and biomass accumulation in plants.

The protein product GIGANTUS1 (GTS1) belongs to the WD40 protein superfamily, whose members are key regulators of plant development. Under the same growth conditions, Gts1 -knockout plants germinated faster and had significantly increased growth compared to WT plants (Fig. A on top). They also flowered 5 days earlier and accumulated higher cell biomass than WT, as shown by a bigger overall rosette leaf area (Fig. B on top). In addition, they yielded more than 5-fold the amount of seeds at harvest time compared to WT. The Arabidopsis Gts1 gene is very similar to that of rice and maize. A method to reduce Gts1 expression in maize was also successfully developed.


Market Applications:

Gts1 targeting in plants can be used to improve

  • Crop growth and yield
  • Plant-based biofuel production
  • Landscape restoration


  • Efficient growth and yield promotion
  • Easy modification of Gts1 expression
  • Economical application in rice, maize and other important plants
  • Combination with other beneficial transgenic traits in plants

Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. This product is available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Patent Information:
ID: 2014-097

Simeon Kotchoni
For Information, Contact:
Lisa Lyu
Assistant Director
Rutgers University