Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 25, Issue 12, pp 1263-1274

First online:

Role of DREB transcription factors in abiotic and biotic stress tolerance in plants

  • Pradeep K. AgarwalAffiliated withInternational Centre for Genetic Engineering and BiotechnologyCentral Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute Email author 
  • , Parinita AgarwalAffiliated withInternational Centre for Genetic Engineering and BiotechnologyDepartment of Life Science, Bhavnagar University
  • , M. K. ReddyAffiliated withInternational Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
  • , Sudhir K. SoporyAffiliated withInternational Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

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Abiotic and biotic stresses negatively influence survival, biomass production and crop yield. Being multigenic as well as a quantitative trait, it is a challenge to understand the molecular basis of abiotic stress tolerance and to manipulate it as compared to biotic stresses. Lately, some transcription factor(s) that regulate the expression of several genes related to stress have been discovered. One such class of the transcription factors is DREB/CBF that binds to drought responsive cis-acting elements. DREBs belong to ERF family of transcription factors consisting of two subclasses, i.e. DREB1/CBF and DREB2 that are induced by cold and dehydration, respectively. The DREBs are apparently involved in biotic stress signaling pathway. It has been possible to engineer stress tolerance in transgenic plants by manipulating the expression of DREBs. This opens an excellent opportunity to develop stress tolerant crops in future. This review intends to focus on the structure, role of DREBs in plant stress signaling and the present status of their deployment in developing stress tolerant transgenic plants.


Abiotic stress Biotic stress DREBs Transcription factor