Crop Biotech Update

Over-expression of OSRIP18 Increases Drought and Salt Tolerance in Rice

November 4, 2011

Extreme drought and salinity affect the yield of agricultural crops. Thus, biotechnology has been harnessed to improve crops' tolerance to such stresses. Identification of possible sources of tolerance is important to advance improvement of crops. She-Yu Jiang from the National University of Singapore and colleagues investigated the biological functions of a gene called Oryza sativa Ribosome-inactivating protein gene 18 (OSRIP18) by expressing it in the rice genome.

The researchers came up with 11 different rice lines which exhibited increased tolerance to drought and high salinity. Results of the microarray analysis showed that more than 100 probe sets were detected with up-regulated expression abundance and three probe sets were down-regulated when OSRIP18 was over-expressed. Based on these findings, the increased stress tolerance of the rice plants might be contributed by stress-dependent/independent genes and that OSRIP18 could be useful to further improve environmental stress tolerance through over-expression.

Read more details about the study at http://www.springerlink.com/content/w45543x28g365j4l/.