Journal of Genetics

, Volume 91, Issue 3, pp 385–395 | Cite as

DREB1/CBF transcription factors: their structure, function and role in abiotic stress tolerance in plants

  • G. TAJ
  • N. K. SINGH
Review Article


Drought, high salinity and low temperature are major abiotic stresses that influence survival, productivity and geographical distribution of many important crops across the globe. Plants respond to these environmental challenges via physiological, cellular and molecular processes, which results in adjusted metabolic and structural alterations. The dehydration-responsive-element-binding (DREB) protein / C-repeat binding factors (CBFs) belong to APETALA2 (AP2) family transcription factors that bind to DRE/CRT cis-element and regulate the expression of stress-responsive genes. DREB1/CBF genes, therefore, play an important role in increasing stress tolerance in plants and their deployment using transgenic technology seems to be a potential alternative in management of abiotic stresses in crop plants. This review is mainly focussed on the structural characteristics as well as transcriptional regulation of gene expression in response to various abiotic stresses, with particular emphasis on the role of DREB1/CBF regulon in stress-responsive gene expression. The recent progress related to genetic engineering of DREB1/CBF transcription factors in various crops and model plants is also summarized.


abiotic stress transcription factors DREB1/CBF 



Authors are thankful to Life Science Research Board of Defence Research and Development Organization, New Delhi, for financial support.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2012

Authors and Affiliations

    • 1
    • 3
    • 1
  • G. TAJ
    • 2
    • 1
    • 3
  • N. K. SINGH
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Genetics and Plant BreedingGovind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and TechnologyPantnagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Biology and BiotechnologyGovind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and TechnologyPantnagarIndia
  3. 3.Department of BiotechnologyFaculty of Natural Sciences Jamia Millia IslamiaNew DelhiIndia

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