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Plant Biotechnol J. 2016 Aug;14(8):1756-67. doi: 10.1111/pbi.12535. Epub 2016 Feb 3.

The Arabidopsis transcriptional regulator DPB3-1 enhances heat stress tolerance without growth retardation in rice.

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Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Japan.


The enhancement of heat stress tolerance in crops is an important challenge for food security to facilitate adaptation to global warming. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the transcriptional regulator DNA polymerase II subunit B3-1 (DPB3-1)/nuclear factor Y subunit C10 (NF-YC10) has been reported as a positive regulator of Dehydration-responsive element binding protein 2A (DREB2A), and the overexpression of DPB3-1 enhances heat stress tolerance without growth retardation. Here, we show that DPB3-1 interacts with DREB2A homologues in rice and soya bean. Transactivation analyses with Arabidopsis and rice mesophyll protoplasts indicate that DPB3-1 and its rice homologue OsDPB3-2 function as positive regulators of DREB2A homologues. Overexpression of DPB3-1 did not affect plant growth or yield in rice under nonstress conditions. Moreover, DPB3-1-overexpressing rice showed enhanced heat stress tolerance. Microarray analysis revealed that many heat stress-inducible genes were up-regulated in DPB3-1-overexpressing rice under heat stress conditions. However, the overexpression of DPB3-1 using a constitutive promoter had almost no effect on the expression of these genes under nonstress conditions. This may be because DPB3-1 is a coactivator and thus lacks inherent transcriptional activity. We conclude that DPB3-1, a coactivator that functions specifically under abiotic stress conditions, could be utilized to increase heat stress tolerance in crops without negative effects on vegetative and reproductive growth.


DNA polymerase II subunit B3-1/nuclear factor Y subunit C10; Oryza sativa; dehydration-responsive element binding protein 2; heat stress tolerance; microarray analysis; transcriptional regulation

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