Researchers Discover Gene for Salt Stress Sensitivity in Rice

Early leaf senescence can cause negative effects on rice yield, but the underlying molecular regulation is not fully understood. The bilateral blade senescence 1 (bbs1), an early leaf senescence and salt stress-sensitive mutant, was isolated from a population generated via ethylmethane sulfonate (EMS) treatment. The team of Dong-Dong Zeng of Zhejiang University in China studied the mutant to determine the gene responsible for the mutation.

The team found an insertion on the OsBBS1 gene that caused the mutation. This gene encodes a receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase. To validate their result, the team used CRISPR-Cas9 OsBBS1-knockout plants. The generated mutants exhibited similar early leaf senescence and salt stress sensitivity as the bbs1 mutant.

OsBBS1 was found to be expressed in all tissues and its expression could be greatly induced by salt stress. These results suggest that OsBBS1 participates in leaf senescence and could be critical in the salt stress response in rice.

For more information, read the article in Plant Cell Reports.

This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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