Crop Biotech Update

Overexpression of AtOxR Improves Abiotic Stress Tolerance and Vitamin C Content in Arabidopsis

October 12, 2016

Abiotic stresses are serious threats to plant growth and productivity, reducing average yields of most crops. Although abiotic stresses might bring forth different responses, most induce the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plant cells. L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is an antioxidant that defends plants against abiotic stresses. Moreover, vitamin C is also an important part of human nutrition. Hence, increasing vitamin C is important in improving abiotic stress tolerance and nutrition in crops.

Researchers, led by Yuanyuan Bu and Bo Sunwe from Northeast Forestry University in Japan, recently discovered that the expression of the Arabidopsis gene, AtOxR, is a response to multiple abiotic stresses. The AtOxR-overexpressing transgenic Arabidopsis had enhanced tolerance to abiotic stresses. Further analysis revealed that overexpression of AtOxR gene resulted in vitamin C accumulation in the transgenic plants.

The results showed that the AtOxR gene responds to multiple abiotic stresses and overexpressing it improves tolerance to abiotic stresses by increased vitamin C content in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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