Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas9-Mediated SlNPR1 Mutagenesis Reduces Tomato Plant Drought Tolerance

March 27, 2019

Nonexpressor of pathogenesis-related gene 1 (NPR1) has been known as one of the master regulators in the plant defense response to pathogens. However, its role in plant's response to abiotic stress still needs more exploration. Thus, scientists from China Agricultural University in Beijing, investigated the role of NPR1 in response to biotic and abiotic stresses in tomato, which is the fourth most economical crop globally.

The researchers isolated the SlNPR1 from tomato and generated slnpr1 mutants using the CRISPR-Cas9 system. Analysis results indicated that SlNPR1 could be involved in tomato plant's response to drought stress. SlNPR1 was found to be expressed in all plant tissues, and it was strongly induced by drought stress. Thus, the researchers dug deeper to reveal the function of SlNPR1 in tomato plant drought tolerance.

The findings revealed that slnpr1 mutants exhibited reduced drought tolerance with increased stomatal aperture, higher electrolytic leakage, malondialdehyde (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels, and lower activity levels of antioxidantenzymes, compared to wild type plants.

Based on the results, the researchers concluded that SlNPR1 could be involved in regulating drought response in tomato.

Read the research article in BMC Plant Biology

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