Biotech Updates

Drought Tolerant Poplar Trees Perform Well in Field Trials

August 24, 2022

Researchers from the University of Tsukuba, Japan, reported in Transgenic Research the results of the confined field trials of transgenic poplars with stress tolerance gene from Arabidopsis.

Drought is abiotic stress that affects plant growth and productivity. Developing trees with enhanced tolerance to drought can potentially expand plantation areas and promote sustainable development. In their previous study, researcher Taichu Oguchi and his team developed transgenic poplars harboring the stress-responsive galactinol synthase gene, AtGolS2, derived from Arabidopsis. Drought stress tolerance was observed in laboratory conditions. In their latest study, the transgenic poplar trees were tested in field conditions under rainfall-restricted treatments for 100 days. Machine learning approach was also used to project future outcomes.

Results showed significant alleviation of leaf injuries in the most severe stress class. The transgenes and transcript levels were stable in the transgenic poplars cultivated in the field conditions. Overexpression of AtGolS2 led to significant enhancement in the drought stress tolerance of transgenic poplars even in field conditions.

Read the abstract in Transgenic Research.

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