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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00297

Ectopic expression of OsDREB1G, a member of the OsDREB1 subfamily, confers cold stress tolerance in rice

Seok-Jun Moon1,  Myung Ki Min1, Jin-Ae Kim1, Dool Yi Kim2,  In Sun Yoon1, Taek Ryun Kwon3, Myung O. Byun1 and  Beom-Gi Kim1*
  • 1National Academy of Agricultural Science (South Korea), South Korea
  • 2National Institute of Crop Science (South Korea), South Korea
  • 3RDA, Korea, South

Plants adapt to adverse environmental conditions through physiological responses, such as induction of the abscisic acid signaling pathway, stomatal regulation, and root elongation. Altered gene expression is a major molecular response to adverse environmental conditions in plants. Several transcription factors function as master switches to induce the expression of stress-tolerance genes. To find out a master regulator for the cold stress tolerance in rice, we focused on functionally identifying DREB subfamily which plays important roles in cold stress tolerance of plants. Here, we characterized OsDREB1G (LOC_Os02g45450), a functionally unidentified member of the DREB1 subgroup. OsDREB1G is specifically induced under cold stress conditions among several abiotic stresses examined. This gene is dominantly expressed in leaf sheath, blade, node and root. Transgenic rice overexpressing this gene exhibited strong cold tolerance and growth retardation, like transgenic rice overexpressing other OsDREB1 genes. However, unlike these rice lines, transgenic rice overexpressing OsDREB1G did not exhibit significant increases in drought or salt tolerance. Cold-responsive genes were highly induced in transgenic rice overexpressing DREB1G compared to wild type. In addition, OsDREB1G overexpression directly induced the expression of a reporter gene fused to the promoters of cold-induced genes in rice protoplasts. Therefore, OsDREB1G is a typical CBF/DREB1 transcription factor that specifically functions in the cold stress response. Therefore, OsDREB1G could be useful for developing transgenic rice with enhanced cold-stress tolerance.

Keywords: rice, Cold stress tolerance, DREB, transcription factor, transgenic rice

Received: 16 Sep 2018; Accepted: 25 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Yuriko Osakabe, Tokushima University, Japan

Reviewed by:

Woo Taek Kim, Yonsei University, South Korea
Men-Chi Chang, National Taiwan University, Taiwan  

Copyright: © 2019 Moon, Min, Kim, Kim, Yoon, Kwon, Byun and Kim. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Beom-Gi Kim, National Academy of Agricultural Science (South Korea), Wanju, South Korea, bgkimpeace@gmail.com