Biotech Updates

Transcription Factor ONAC095 Plays Opposite Roles in Drought and Cold Tolerance in Rice

September 21, 2016

Some NAC transcription factors play crucial roles in abiotic stress response. The team of Lei Huang from Zhejiang University in China recently characterized a rice stress-responsive NAC gene, ONAC095, and explored its role in drought and cold stress tolerance.

The expression of ONAC095 was found to be upregulated by drought stress and abscisic acid (ABA), but was downregulated by cold stress. Two transgenic rice lines, one overexpressing ONAC095 (ONAC095-OE) and another with a suppressed ONAC095 (ONAC095-SRDX), were generated. The ONAC095-OE plants showed comparable phenotype to wild types under drought and cold stress conditions.

On the other hand, the ONAC095-SRDX plants exhibited an enhanced drought tolerance, but also exhibited a decrease in cold tolerance. Furthermore, ONAC095-SRDX plants showed an increased ABA sensitivity, contained an elevated ABA level, and displayed altered expression of ABA biosynthetic and metabolic genes.

Functional analyses of ONAC095 demonstrate that the gene plays opposite roles in drought and cold stress tolerance. The gene negatively regulates drought response, but positively regulates cold response in rice.

For more information, read the full article in BMC Plant Biology.