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Protoplasma. 2018 Nov;255(6):1751-1761. doi: 10.1007/s00709-018-1265-6. Epub 2018 May 30.

Overexpression of a phospholipase (OsPLDα1) for drought tolerance in upland rice (Oryza sativa L.).

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Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Goiás, Brasil.
International Center for Tropical Agriculture A.A. 6713, Cali, Colombia.
Embrapa Arroz e Feijão, Rodovia GO-462, Km 12, Santo Antônio de Goiás, Goiás, Brazil.
Escola de Agronomia, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Santo Antônio de Goiás, Goiás, Brazil.
Embrapa Arroz e Feijão, Rodovia GO-462, Km 12, Santo Antônio de Goiás, Goiás, Brazil.


This work aimed to evaluate the drought tolerance of transformed plants of the cultivar BRSMG Curinga that overexpress the rice phospholipase D α1 (OsPLDα1) gene. The productivity of independent transformation event plants of the OsPLDα1 gene was evaluated in an experiment where 19 days of water deficit were applied at the reproductive stage, a very strict growing condition for upland rice. The non-genetically modified cultivar (NGM) under drought treatment reduced productivity by 89% compared with that under irrigated treatment, whereas transformed plants (PLDα1_E2) reduced productivity by only 41%. After the drought treatment, the PLDα1_E2 plants productivity was five times greater than that of the NGM plant. Moreover, no adverse effects on growth and development of the transgenic plants were observed. Seven days after the resumption of irrigation, PLDα1_E2 plants had higher stomatal conductance, greater photosynthetic rate, and transpiration rate than did NGM plants, as well as a higher expression level of the OsPLDα1 gene. A delay in the senescence process was observed in these PLDα1_E2 plants, and this was determined for the recovery of photosynthesis, with greater expression of the Rubisco and lower expression of the SOD. This finding was suggestive of decreased oxidative stress, probably due to gas exchange by the partial closure of the stomata of these transformed plants, which prevented the formation of reactive oxygen species. OsPLDα1 gene overexpression resulted in a reduction in production loss under severe water deficit and revealed a possibility for the development of upland rice cultivars that are more tolerant to extreme drought conditions.


Abiotic stress; Gene expression; Genetic engineering; Grain yield

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