From Arabidopsis to rice, AtEDT1/HGD11 enhances drought tolerance and increases yield
Linhui Yu1, Xi Chen1, Shimei Wang2, Yuping Wang3, Qisheng Zhu2, Shigui Li3, and Chengbin Xiang1
1School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230027, China.
2Rice Research Institute, Academy of Agricultural Science of Anhui Province, Hefei 230031, China.
3Rice Research Institute, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
The Arabidopsis EDT1/HDG11, a homeodomain-START transcription factor, was previously demonstrated to confer improved drought tolerance and increased biomass when overexpressed in the Arabidopsis and transgenic tobacco (Yu et al., 2008). Here we report that overexpression of the dicot AtHDG11 in monocot rice, one of the most important cereals in the world, also confers similar phenotypes to those observed in the edt1 and transgenic tobacco, which include enhanced drought tolerance, improved root system, reduced stomatal density, increased photosynthesis and water use efficiency. Most importantly, through five consecutive year’s field trials transgenic rice showed consistent and significant yield increase under both normal and drought stressed conditions, demonstrating the efficacy of AtHDG11 simultaneously enhancing drought tolerance and increasing yield. Results with transgenic rice and other crops will be presented and discussed.