Delayed leaf senescence induces extreme drought tolerance in a flowering plant.

Book Title: NA
Year Published: 2007
Month Published: NA
Author: Rivero, R. M. ; Kojima, M. ; Gepstein, A. ; Sakakibara,H. ; Mittler, R. ; Gepstein, S. ; Blumwald, E.
Book Group Author: NA

Drought, the most prominent threat to agricultural production worldwide, accelerates leaf senescence, leading to a decrease in canopy size, loss in photosynthesis and reduced yields. On the basis of the assumption that senescence is a type of cell death program that could be inappropriately activated during drought, we hypothesized that it may be possible to enhance drought tolerance by delaying drought-induced leaf senescence. We generated transgenic plants expressing an isopentenyltransferase gene driven by a stress- and maturation-induced promoter. Remarkably, the suppression of drought-induced leaf senescence resulted in outstanding drought tolerance as shown by, among other responses, vigorous growth after a long drought period that killed the control plants. The transgenic plants maintained high water contents and retained photosynthetic activity (albeit at a reduced level) during the drought. Moreover, the transgenic plants displayed minimal yield loss when watered with only 30% of the amount of water used under control conditions. The production of drought-tolerant crops able to grow under restricted water regimes without diminution of yield would minimize drought-related losses and ensure food production in water-limited lands.

Pages: 19631 - 19636
Volume: 104
Number: 49
Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the UnitedStates of America
Journal ISO: NA
Organization: NA
Publisher: NA
ISSN: 0027-8424

crop yield, drought, enzymes, leaves, photosynthesis, plantwater relations, promoters, senescence, tobacco, transferases,transgenic plants, water stress, water use efficiency, yield losses,Nicotiana, Nicotiana tabacum, plants, Nicotiana, Solanaceae, Solanales,dicotyledons, angiosperms, Spermatophyta, plants, eukaryotes, carbonassimilation, carbon dioxide fixation, genetically engineered plants,genetically modified plants, GMOs, promoter region, promoter sequences,Field Crops (FF005) (New March 2000), Plant Breeding and Genetics(FF020), Plant Water Relations (FF062), Environmental Tolerance ofPlants (FF900), Genetic Engineering, Gene Transfer and Transgenics(WW100) (New June 2002)

Source: EBSCO
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