A gene that prevents leaf senescence under prolonged drought conditions

November 27, 2015

Hints for anti-senescence technologies

Researchers at RIKEN CSRS, the University of Tokyo and the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences have discovered a gene that controls senescence in plants exposed to prolonged dry conditions.

The joint research group looked at the NAC (NAM, ATAF and CUC) transcription factor genes. The NAC domain in Arabidopsis is widely conserved, with at least 100 genes, so researchers focused on seven genes in a NAC subfamily known as SNAC-As, which is associated with stress response.

Analysis of an Arabidopsis mutant deficient in all seven target genes revealed that the SNAC-As transcription factor family causes ABA-induced chlorophyll degradation by controlling genes involved in senescence (SAG26, ATH8, etc.).

These findings have potential for improving crop quality and yields through the control of senescence resulting from stress due to long-term dry weather.


Original article
The Plant Journal doi: 10.1111/tpj.13067
H. Takasaki, K. Maruyama, F. Takahashi, M. Fujita, T. Yoshida, K. Nakashima, F. Myouga, K. Toyooka, K. Yamaguchi-Shinozaki, K. Shinozaki,
"SNAC-As, stress-responsive NAC transcription factors, mediate ABA-inducible leaf senescence".

Kazuo Shinozaki; Group Director
Fuminori Takahashi; Research Scientist
Gene Discovery Research Group