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Crop Biotech Update

Knockout of the OsNAC006 TF Causes Drought and Heat Sensitivity in Rice

April 1, 2020

Researchers from Nankai University, China, and partners revealed that transcription factor (TF) OsNAC006 is consistently expressed in rice, and knocking it out using CRISPR-Cas9 results in drought and heat sensitivity. The findings are published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Rice responds to different abiotic stresses during growth. Plant-specific NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC2 (NAC) transcription factors play vital roles in regulating several important growth and developmental processes. To date, 170 NAC transcription factors have been identified in rice, but their functions are still unknown. Nankai University researchers found out that the transcription factor OsNAC006 is consistently expressed in rice, and regulated by H2O2, cold, heat, abscisic acid, indole-3-acetic acid, gibberellin, NaCl, and polyethylene glycol 6000 treatments. Knocking out OsNAC006 using CRISPR-Cas9 led to drought and heat sensitivity. Further analysis showed that OsNAC006 regulates the expression of genes mainly involved in response to stimuli, oxidoreductase activity, cofactor binding, and membrane-related pathways.

The results show the vital role of OsNAC006 in drought responses and provide valuable information for improving stress tolerance through genetic engineering.

Read the abstract from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

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