A new method for increasing heat stress tolerance in rice plants

February 4, 2016

Expected technological applications to prevent crop yield declines from global warming and heat waves

A new method for enhancing heat stress tolerance in rice plants has been developed by the University of Tokyo and RIKEN CSRS.

The joint research group focused on the DPB3-1 protein in Arabidopsis as a useful factor to control gene expression in rice. DPB3-1 is a transcription regulatory factor in Arabidopsis, and it is known that Arabidopsis plants with overexpressed DPB3-1 have increased heat stress tolerance. Rice plants with the introduced DPB3-1 gene showed increased expression of various genes involved in heightened heat stress tolerance and also exhibited enhanced heat stress tolerance. Researchers also confirmed that introduction of DPB3-1 did not adversely affect plant growth or rice yields under non-stress conditions.

Further application of this research could lead to the development of technologies that will prevent lowered crop yields from higher temperatures, heat waves, etc. due to global warming.


Original article
Plant Biotechnology Journal doi: 10.1111/pbi.12535
H. Sato, D. Todaka, M. Kudo, J. Mizoi, S. Kidokoro, Z. Yu, K. Shinozaki, K. Yamaguchi-Shinozaki,
"The Arabidopsis transcriptional regulator DPB3-1 enhances heat stress tolerance without growth retardation in rice".

Kazuo Shinozaki
Group Director
Gene Discovery Research Group