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Genetic modification of PIN genes induces causal mechanisms of stay-green drought adaptation phenotype

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Borrell, A. K., Wong, A. C. S., George-Jaeggli, B., van Oosterom, E. J., Mace, E. S., Godwin, I. D., Liu, G., Mullet, J. E., Klein, P. E., Hammer, G. L., McLean, G., Hunt, C. H. and Jordan, D. R. (2022) Genetic modification of PIN genes induces causal mechanisms of stay-green drought adaptation phenotype. Journal of Experimental Botany, 73 (19). pp. 6711-6726. ISSN 0022-0957

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erac336


The stay-green trait is recognised as a key drought adaptation mechanism in cereals worldwide. Stay-green sorghum plants exhibit delayed senescence of leaves and stems, leading to prolonged growth, a reduced risk of lodging and higher grain yield under end-of-season drought stress. More than 45 quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with stay-green have been identified, including two major QTL (Stg1 and Stg2). However, none of the contributing genes that regulate functional stay-green are known. Here we show that the PIN FORMED family of auxin efflux carriers induce some of the causal mechanisms driving the stay-green phenotype in sorghum, with SbPIN4 and SbPIN2 located in Stg1 and Stg2, respectively. We found that 9 of 11 sorghum PIN genes aligned with known stay-green QTL. In transgenic studies, we demonstrated that PIN genes located within the Stg1 (SbPIN4), Stg2 (SbPIN2) and Stg3b (SbPIN1) QTL regions acted pleiotropically to modulate canopy development, root architecture and panicle growth in sorghum, with SbPIN1, SbPIN2 and SbPIN4 differentially expressed in various organs relative to the non stay-green control. The emergent consequence of such modifications in canopy and root architecture is a stay-green phenotype. Crop simulation modelling shows that the SbPIN2 phenotype can increase grain yield under drought.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:Drought adaptation, canopy development, root architecture, stay-green, PIN genes, cereals
Subjects:Science > Botany > Genetics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Plant culture > Field crops
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia > Queensland
Live Archive:18 Aug 2022 06:03
Last Modified:08 Feb 2023 03:39

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