What is it about?

Conventional dwarfing genes increased wheat yields by disrupting plant hormone signaling but they have significant drawbacks for seedling emergence in some environmental conditions. The alternative dwarfing gene Rht13 avoids this problem. Here, we found that Rht13 is an NB-LRR gene, a type of gene often linked to disease resistance. This is different than what we expected- other alternative dwarfing genes in wheat have been found to be components of gibberellin signaling or metabolism.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

We now have perfect genetic marker which can be used in plant breeding programs so Rht13 can be used more easily for crop improvement which will be particularly beneficial in dry environments. We found that Rht13 reduces height to a similar degree as conventional dwarfing genes so could be readily applied in agriculture and could offer an additional benefit of increased stem strength.


Identifying the Rht13 gene took many years and involved world-wide collaborations. We benefitted greatly from the international efforts by the wheat community to develop a comprehensive set of genome sequences and associated tools for gene discovery.

Philippa Borrill
John Innes Centre

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: An autoactive NB-LRR gene causes Rht13 dwarfism in wheat, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, November 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2209875119.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page