Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 956, 2013, pp 269-283
Date: 11 Oct 2012

Molecular Approaches to Improve Rice Abiotic Stress Tolerance

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Abstract

Abiotic stress is a major factor limiting productivity of rice crops in large areas of the world. Because plants cannot avoid abiotic stress by moving, they have acquired various mechanisms for stress tolerance in the course of their evolution. Enhancing or introducing such mechanisms in rice is one effective way to develop stress-tolerant cultivars. Based on physiological studies on stress responses, recent progress in plant molecular biology has enabled discovery of many genes involved in stress tolerance. These genes include regulatory genes, which regulate stress response (e.g., transcription factors and protein kinases), and functional genes, which protect the cell (e.g., enzymes for generating protective metabolites and proteins). Both kinds of genes are used to increase stress tolerance in rice. In addition, several quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with higher stress tolerance have been cloned, contributing to the discovery of significantly important genes for stress tolerance.