Crop Biotech Update

Overexpression of AhNF-YC from Amaranth Modifies Growth and Confers Drought Stress Resistance in Arabidopsis

September 9, 2015

Nuclear factor-Y (NF-Y) is a plant transcription factor composed of NF-YA, NF-YB and NF-YC subunits. The function of many NF-Y A and B subunits has been studied in plants, but knowledge of the C subunit remains unknown.

Researchers from Mexico, led by Paola A. Palmeros-Suárez, characterized AhNF-YC, a water stress-induced NF-YC gene from amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus). The team then overexpressed it in transgenic Arabidospis thaliana plants for further characterization.

The gene was inferred to have a role in development, judging from the modified growth rates in plant parts of the modified Arabidopsis plants. The overexpression of AhNF-YC also caused increased seedling sensitivity to abscisic acid (ABA), and influenced the expression of several genes involved in secondary metabolism, development and ABA-related responses. The altered expression of the ABA-related responses conferred increased water stress resistance.

AhNF-YC may play an important regulatory role in both development and stress, and is a candidate gene for development of abiotic stress resistance in crops.

For more information on the study, read the article on Plant Science.