Crop Biotech Update

Flood-tolerant Rice Plants Can Also Survive Drought

March 4, 2011

Rice researchers at University of California Riverside led by Julia Bailey-Serres have found that rice with Sub1A gene, a gene responsible for tolerance to flood or submergence can also survive drought. Rice with Sub1 gene can conserve its energy under submergence for more than two weeks until water recedes.

The researchers report in the current issue of Plant Cell  "that at the molecular level, Sub1A serves as a convergence point between submergence and drought response pathways, allowing rice plants to survive and re-grow after both extremes of precipitation."

"We found that Sub1A properly coordinates physiological and molecular responses to cellular water deficit when this deficit occurs independently, as in a time of drought, or following ‘desubmergence,' which takes place when flood waters recede," Bailey-Serres said.

The original research news article can be viewed at http://newsroom.ucr.edu/news_item.html?action=page&id=2563