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Plant Cell Rep. 2010 Sep;29(9):977-86. doi: 10.1007/s00299-010-0883-z. Epub 2010 Jun 18.

Overexpression of a homopeptide repeat-containing bHLH protein gene (OrbHLH001) from Dongxiang Wild Rice confers freezing and salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis.

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Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100093, Beijing, P. R. China.


Dongxiang Wild Rice (Oryza rufipogon) is the northernmost wild rice in the world known to date and has extremely high cold tolerance and many other adversity-resistant properties. To identify the genes responsible for the high stress tolerance, we isolated and characterized a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein gene OrbHLH001 from Dongxiang Wild Rice. The gene encodes an ICE1-like protein containing multiple homopeptide repeats. Expression of OrbHLH001 is induced by salt stress and is predominant in the shoots of wild rice seedlings. Overexpression of OrbHLH001 enhanced the tolerance to freezing and salt stresses in transgenic Arabidopsis. Examination of the expression of cold-responsive genes in transgenic Arabidopsis showed that the function of OrbHLH001 differs from that of ICE1 and is independent of a CBF/DREB1 cold-response pathway.

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