J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2023, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (4): 918-933.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13414

• Abiotic Stress Responses • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Variations in OsSPL10 confer drought tolerance by directly regulating OsNAC2 expression and ROS production in rice

Yingxiu Li1†, Shichen Han1†, Xingming Sun1, Najeeb Ullah Khan1, Qun Zhong2, Zhanying Zhang1, Hongliang Zhang1, Feng Ming2, Zichao Li1,3 and Jinjie Li1*   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology/Beijing Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China;
    2. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Sciences, College of Life Sciences, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China;
    3. Sanya Institute of China Agricultural University, Sanya 572025, China
    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondence: Jinjie Li (lijinjie@cau.edu.cn)
  • Received:2022-07-05 Accepted:2022-11-18 Online:2022-11-19 Published:2023-04-01

Abstract: Drought is a major factor restricting the production of rice (Oryza sativa L.). The identification of natural variants for drought stress‐ related genes is an important step toward developing genetically improved rice varieties. Here, we characterized a member of the SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN‐LIKE (SPL) family, OsSPL10, as a transcription factor involved in the regulation of drought tolerance in rice. OsSPL10 appears to play a vital role in drought tolerance by controlling reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and stomatal movements. Haplotype and allele frequency analyses of OsSPL10 indicated that most upland rice and improved lowland rice varieties harbor the OsSPL10Hap1 allele, whereas the OsSPL10Hap2 allele was mainly present in lowland and landrace rice varieties. Importantly, we demonstrated that the varieties with the OsSPL10Hap1 allele showed low expression levels of OsSPL10 and its downstream gene, OsNAC2, which decreases the expression of OsAP37 and increases the expression of OsCOX11, thus preventing ROS accumulation and programmed cell death (PCD). Furthermore, the knockdown or knockout of OsSPL10 induced fast stomatal closure and prevented water loss, thereby improving drought tolerance in rice. Based on these observations, we propose that OsSPL10 confers drought tolerance by regulating OsNAC2 expression and that OsSPL10Hap1 could be a valuable haplotype for the genetic improvement of drought tolerance in rice.

Key words: drought tolerance, haplotype, OsNAC2, OsSPL10, ROS

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