Biotech Updates

Candidate Gene for Drought Tolerance Found in Wheat

May 30, 2018

The calcineurin B-like protein (CBL)-interacting protein kinase (CIPK) signaling pathway responds to various abiotic stresses in plants. The research team of Xiao-Yu Cui and Yong-Tao Du from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences studied the CIPK23 gene from wheat (Triticum aestivum).

The wheat CIPK23 was found to be induced by multiple abiotic stresses including drought, salt, and abscisic acid (ABA). The TaCIPK23-overexpression wheat and Arabidopsis lines showed higher survival rates under drought conditions as well as enhanced germination rates, developed root system, and reduced water loss rate.

Analysis revealed that overexpression of TaCIPK23 made transgenic plants ABA sensitive, as evidenced by the delayed seed germination and the induction of stomatal closure. Consistent with the ABA-sensitive phenotype, the expression level of drought- and ABA-responsive genes were also increased under drought conditions in the transgenic plants.

These results suggest that TaCIPK23 plays vital roles in ABA and drought stress responses in wheat.

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