Biotech Updates

Drought-tolerant Sugarcane Performs Well in Chinese Field Trials

November 2, 2022

Field trials held in Guangxi province in China significantly conferred drought tolerance in a sugarcane variety developed by Guangxi University. Results of the trials showed enhanced water retention capacity as well as reduced member damage without compromising the sugarcane's growth, among others.

Tripidium arundinaceum dehydration-responsive element-binding transcription factor (TaDREB2B) behind the drought-responsible RD29A promoter was introduced to the commercial sugarcane variety FN95-1702. This underwent various drought tolerance experiments and agronomic trait evaluations prior to the conduct of the field trials.

The transgenic sugarcane exhibited obvious improvements in yield performance and favorable agronomic traits under the limited-irrigation condition of the field trial. Results showed an increase of as much as 41.9% in yield and 44.4% in the number of ratooned seedlings. It was also found that there was no reduction in the sucrose content, gravity purity, and other major quality traits in the transgenic sugarcane despite the water deficit. Overall, the Prd29A-TaDREB2B promoter-transgene combination proved to be a useful biotech tool in increasing the sugarcane's drought tolerance.

Learn more from Frontiers in Plant Science.

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