Crop Biotech Update

Overexpression of MlNAC5 Enhances Drought and Cold Tolerance in Arabidopsis

February 11, 2015

Miscanthus lutarioriparius, a potential bioenergy crop due to its biomass productivity, is also capable of adapting to different environments. NAC transcription factors are said to play important roles in plant responses to abiotic stresses.

Ruibi Hu and Gongke Zhou of the Chinese Academy of Sciences led the study on the MlNAC5 gene from M. lutarioriparius. Overexpression of MlNAC5 in Arabidopsis resulted in dwarfism, leaf senescence and late flowering under normal growth conditions. The transgenics also exhibited hypersensitivity to abscisic acid (ABA) and NaCl. However, overexpression of MlNAC5 also significantly enhanced drought and cold tolerance by regulating stress-responsive marker genes.

Results indicated that MlNAC5 functions as an important regulator during the process of plant development and responses to salinity, drought and cold stresses.

To learn more on this study, read the full article here: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00299-015-1756-2/fulltext.html.