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Shaokui Wang

Shaokui Wang
Professor, Department of Plant Breeding, South China Agricultural University

Summary of my work

My research includes two focus areas:

1. Identification and analysis of QTLs and genes that control rice grain size: Our lab has developed rice SSSLs (single segment substitution lines) library with high quality. Using the SSSLs, we have identified more than 20 QTLs located in different chromosomes, and have cloned some of these gene and used the genes in the rice breeding. We are continuing identifying and cloning more of the mapped genes useful for rice breeding.

2. Rice molecular design breeding: Our lab has established a series of platforms for rice molecular breeding, to modify target traits accurately and efficiently in conventional rice and hybrid rice. Recently, we made a progress in utilization of heterosis between Indica-japonica rice subspecies.

My research at Cornell University is focused on mechanism of heavy metal tolerance in rice. With the support of the Tang scholarship. I am conducting my research on adaptation of plants to the environment, exploring new opportunities for rice breeding.

Impacts in China

Rice is an important staple food crop in China. To increase yield is a major goal for rice breeders, but yield is often negatively correlated with quality. To improve grain yield and quality simultaneously remains challenging. We are making progress in this field through identifying QTLand genes which control rice grain size and applying these genes in rice breeding programs.

Our lab collaborates with > 60 teams in nearly 20 provinces in China. We are making our efforts to utilize heterosis between the Indica-japonica rice subspecies to improve rice production. Successful use of heterosis of subspecies in cultivated rice will boost high quality rice breeding and can be a new green revolution in the history of rice breeding.


  1. Wang, Shaokui, Kun Wu, Qingbo Yuan, Xueying Liu, Zhengbin Liu, Xiaoyan Lin, Ruizhen Zeng,Haitao Zhu, Guojun Dong, Qian Qian, Guiquan Zhang, Xiangdong Fu. Control of grain size, shape and quality by OsSPL16 in rice. Nature genetics (2012). 44, 950-954.
  2. Wang, Shaokui, Shan Li, Qian Liu, Kun Wu, Jianqing Zhang, Shuansuo Wang, Yi Wang, Xiangbin Chen,Yi Zhang, Caixia Gao, Feng Wang, Haixiang Huang, Xiangdong Fu. The OsSPL16-GW7 regulatory module determines grain shape and simultaneously improves rice yield and grain quality. Nature genetics (2015). 47, 949-954.
  3. Haitao Zhu, Ziqiang Liu, Xuelin Fu, Ziju Dai, Shaokui Wang, Guiquan Zhang, Ruizhen Zeng and Guifu Liu. Detection and characterization of epistasis between QTLs on plant height in rice using single segment substitution lines. Breeding Science,2015, 65: 192–200.
  4. Ziju Dai , Qing Lu, Xin Luan, Jian Cai, Haitao Zhu, Ziqiang Liu, Ruizhen Zeng, Zemin Zhang, Shaokui Wang, Lingjie Zheng, Jialin Li, Guiquan Zhang. Development of a platform for breeding by design of CMS lines based on an SSSL library in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Euphytica, 2015, 205:63–72.
  5. Jie Guo, Xiaomei Xu, Wentao Li, Wenyin Zhu, Haitao Zhu, Ziqiang Liu, Xin Luan, Ziju Dai, Guifu Liu, Zemin Zhang, Ruizhen Zeng, Guang Tang, Xuelin Fu, Shaokui Wang, Guiquan Zhang  Overcoming inter-subspecific hybrid sterility in rice by developing indica-compatible japonica lines. Scientific Reports 2016, 6:26878
  6. Zifeng Yang, Lingling Jin, Haitao Zhu1, Shaokui Wang, Guiquan Zhang, Guifu Liu. Analysis of Epistasis among QTLs on Heading Date based on Single Segment Substitution Lines in Rice. Scientific Reports 2018, 8:3059.

For details on publications and projects, see the scholar’s website: