Crop Biotech Update

CRISPR-Cas9 Used to Understand Cold Sensitivity in Rice

June 13, 2019

Proline-rich proteins (PRPs) play several important physiological and biochemical roles in growth and stress response of plants. A study published in 3 Biotech reported that the knockout of rice PRP induced cold sensitivity in rice.

A total of 26 To generation and 16 T1 generation of mutant plants were generated using CRISPR-Cas9 to explore the role of OsPRP1 in cold stress. The conserved amino acid sequence was altered and the OsPRP1 expression level was decreased in mutant plants. The mutant plants exhibited more sensitivity to cold stress and showed low survival rate with reduced root biomass than wild-type rice plants. The homozygous mutant line with large fragment deletion showed higher sensitivity to low temperature. The mutant lines accumulated less antioxidant enzyme activity and lower levels of proline, chlorophyll, abscisic acid (ABA), and ascorbic acid (AsA) content relative to wild-type under low-temperature stress. Furthermore, the expression of three genes encoding antioxidant enzyme activities was significantly down-regulated in the mutant lines as compared to wild-type.

The findings suggest that OsPRP1 enhances cold tolerance by modulating antioxidants and maintaining cross talk through signaling pathways. Thus, OsPRP1 gene can be used to enhance the cold tolerance trait in rice.

Read the research article in 3 Biotech.