Biotech Updates

Gene Enhances Root Development and Multi-Stress Tolerance in Rice

January 17, 2024

Scientists have discovered a novel gene in rice that promotes root development and provides tolerance to abiotic stresses. The gene can be utilized as a molecular marker to develop rice that is tolerant to extreme environmental conditions.

Root architecture and function are essential for plants to obtain water and nutrients from the soil. However, environmental stresses can affect the development of the roots. Jasmonic acid (JA), a phytohormone that controls plant growth and stress response, can help with this issue, but its function in root development for environmental adaptability has not been thoroughly studied.

Researchers from various institutions in Taiwan discovered a JA Upregulated Protein 1 gene (JAUP1) that works together with JA to enact various functions in rice. JAUP1 induces JA biosynthesis, which activates a series of genes that promote root growth and multi-stress tolerance in rice. Increased expression of JAUP1 also minimizes grain yield loss even if there is a limited water supply, which will help with water conservation.

Read the journal article on Plant Biotechnology Journal for more information.

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