Improving rice (Oryza sativa L.) drought tolerance by suppressing a NF-YA transcription factor

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476, Potsdam-Golm, Germany

2 Seed and Plant Improvement Research Institute, P.O. Box 315854119, Karaj, I.R. Iran.


The response to drought stress is a complicated process involving stress sensing, intracellular signal
transduction, and the execution of a cellular response. Transcription factors play important roles in the signaling pathways including abiotic stress. In the present study a rice NF-YA transcription factor gene was partially characterized following dehydration. Disrupting the gene via a T-DNA insertion resulted in drought tolerant plants and a high rate of recovery after water resupply. It was demonstrated that the improved drought tolerance of the mutant is primarily due to non-stomatal mechanisms such as free radical scavenging,
which might be related to changes in metabolism of carbohydrates.