Altering Expression of Regulatory Genes for Enhancing Yields and Stress Tolerance in Rice

Altering Expression of Regulatory Genes for Enhancing Yields and Stress Tolerance in Rice

1,2Tasmia Islam, 1Sudip Biswas,1Sabrina M. Elias,1Sarah Sarker, 1Nurnabi A. Jewel, 1Farida Yasmin and 1Zeba I. Seraj*

1Plant Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. 2Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Jagannath University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

ABSTRACT: Soil salinity is a major abiotic stress for rice production worldwide. It is well established that the salinity zone of south and south-east region of Bangladesh is continuing to expand. In order to utilize the coastal area for rice cultivation in the dry season, production of highly salt tolerant varieties but which also have high yields has become a necessity. This has led to research into introducing salt tolerance into high-yielding commercial rice. The capability of plant cells to retain low cytosolic sodium concentrations is a crucial process associated with the ability of plants to grow in high salt concentrations. Work in our laboratory has shown the role of several transcription factors (SNAC1 and HARDY), promoters (RD29A), membrane transporters (NHX1 and SOS1) and other important genes (G protein, PDH45 and DST) in conferring salt tolerance. We have also characterized some of the mechanisms that allow plants to tolerate high salt concentrations. This paper provides a summary of this research work, such as the cloning of the above genes in rice to achieve both salt tolerance as well as high yields.

KEYWORDS:Abiotic stress, Stress Tolerance, Rice, Yield, Regulatory genes.

CORRESPONDENCE: Zeba I. Seraj