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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009 Feb 20;379(4):985-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.12.163. Epub 2009 Jan 9.

Overexpression of a NAC transcription factor enhances rice drought and salt tolerance.

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  • 1National Center for Gene Research & Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 500 Caobao Road, Shanghai 200233, China.


The plant-specific NAC (NAM, ATAF1/2, CUC2) transcription factors play diverse roles in plant development and stress responses. In this study, a rice NAC gene, ONAC045, was functionally characterized, especially with regard to its role in abiotic stress resistance. Expression analysis revealed that ONAC045 was induced by drought, high salt, and low temperature stresses, and abscisic acid (ABA) treatment in leaves and roots. Transcriptional activation assay in yeast indicated that ONAC045 functioned as a transcriptional activator. Transient expression of GFP-ONAC045 in onion epidermal cells revealed that ONAC045 protein was localized in the nucleus. Transgenic rice plants overexpressing ONAC045 showed enhanced tolerance to drought and salt treatments. Two stress-responsive genes were upregulated in transgenic rice. Together, these results suggest that ONAC045 encodes a novel stress-responsive NAC transcription factor and is potential useful for engineering drought and salt tolerant rice.

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