Crop Biotech Update

OsNF-YA7 Transcription Factor Confers Drought Stress Tolerance in Rice

November 4, 2015

In rice, Nuclear Factor Y (NF-Y) transcription factors have aroused interest due to its roles in plant drought stress responses. However, the mechanism of the NF-Y-induced drought tolerance is not well understood. Dong-Keun Lee and other researchers from the Seoul National University in South Korea aimed to study these mechanisms.

The researchers analyzed two rice NF-YA genes, OsNF-YA7 and OsNF-YA4. Expression of OsNF-YA7 was induced by drought stress and its overexpression in transgenic rice plants improved their drought tolerance. In contrast, OsNF-YA4 was not induced by drought stress and its overexpression did not affect the plants' sensitivity to drought stress.

Analysis also identified 48 genes downstream of OsNFYA7 involved in the OsNF-YA7-mediated drought tolerance pathway. These results suggest an important role for OsNF-YA7 in rice drought stress tolerance.

For more information, read the article in Plant Science.