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The APETALA2/ethylene-responsive factor transcription factor OsDERF2 negatively modulates drought stress in rice by repressing abscisic acid responsive genes

  • Y. GUO (a1) (a2), R. HUANG (a2) (a3), L. DUAN (a2) and J. WANG (a2) (a3)

APETALA2/ethylene-responsive factor (AP2/ERF) family transcription factors play a vital role in plant growth and in response to hormones and abiotic stresses. In the current research, it is reported that OsDERF2, one of the drought-responsive ERF, is a member of the DREB sub-family. OsDERF2 is a nuclear-localized protein and has transcriptional activity in yeast. Expression of OsDERF2 was induced by drought and inhibited by abscisic acid (ABA). However, OsDERF2 RNA interference (RNAi) knock-down transgenic lines enhanced tolerance to drought stress at seedling stage and were much more sensitive to ABA treatment, which may result from the increased ABA level in vivo. The basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor family plays an important role in the ABA signalling pathway of abiotic stress. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that the bZIP family gene OsbZIP20 and ABA-response gene OsABA45 were up-regulated 25 times and 120 times, respectively, in OsDERF2 RNAi knock-down lines under drought stress, which were up-regulated five and seven times in wild type under drought stress. The current data reveal that OsDERF2 negatively modulates drought stress response in an ABA-mediated pathway through regulating gene expression of other ABA-response transcription factors.

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