Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 329–334 | Cite as

Enhanced tolerance to drought stress in transgenic rice plants overexpressing a small heat-shock protein, sHSP17.7

Genetic Transformation and Hybridization

Abstract

Exposure of rice (Oryza sativa L.) seedlings to a high temperature (42°C) for 24 h resulted in a significant increase in tolerance to drought stress. To try to determine the mechanisms of acquisition of tolerance to drought stress by heat shock, the rice small heat-shock protein gene, sHSP17.7, the product of which was shown to act as molecular chaperones in vitro and in vivo in our previous study, was overexpressed in the rice cultivar “Hoshinoyume”. Western and Northern blot analyses showed higher expression levels of sHSP17.7 protein in three transgenic lines than in one transgenic line. Drought tolerance was assessed in these transgenic lines and wild-type plants by withholding water for 6 days for evaluation of the ability of plants to continue growth after water-stress treatments. Although no significant difference was found in water potential of seedlings between transgenic lines and wild-type plants at the end of drought treatments, only transgenic seedlings with higher expression levels of sHSP17.7 protein could regrow after rewatering. Similar results were observed in survival rates after treatments with 30% polyethylene glycol (PEG) 3640 for 3 days. These results suggest that overproduction of sHSP17.7 could increase drought tolerance in transgenic rice seedlings.

Keywords

Drought tolerance Small heat-shock protein Transgenic rice 

Abbreviations

HSP

Heat shock protein

SHSP

Small heat shock protein

PEG

Polyethylene glycol

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Agricultural Research Center for Hokkaido RegionSapporoJapan

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