Crop Biotech Update

Overexpression of HbERF-IXc5 Enhances Abiotic Stress Tolerance and Latex Production in Rubber

September 13, 2017

The ethylene response factor 1 (ERF1) in Arabidopsis coordinates a large number of genes involved in plant defense. Its orthologue in rubber (Hevea brasiliensis), HbERF-IXc5, is assumed to play a major role in laticifer metabolism and tolerance to harvesting stress which directly affects latex production. Retno Lestari of the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development aimed to study transgenic lines of rubber overexpressing HbERF-IXc5.

Overexpression of HbERF-IXc5 greatly enhanced plant growth and enabled plants to maintain some physiological parameters in response to abiotic stresses such as water deficit, cold, and saline conditions. Analysis also revealed that HbERF-IXc5 has rubber-specific functions as transgenic plants overexpressing HbERF-IXc5 accumulated more starch and had more latex cells.

For more on this study, read the article in Plant Biotechnology Journal.