A stress-responsive bZIP transcription factor OsbZIP62 improves drought and oxidative tolerance in rice

BMC Plant Biol. 2019 Jun 17;19(1):260. doi: 10.1186/s12870-019-1872-1.


Background: Drought is a major abiotic stress factor that influences the yield of crops. Basic leucine zipper motif (bZIP) transcription factors play an important regulatory role in plant drought stress responses. However, the functions of a number of bZIP transcription factors in rice are still unknown.

Results: In this study, a novel drought stress-related bZIP transcription factor, OsbZIP62, was identified in rice. This gene was selected from a transcriptome analysis of several typical rice varieties with different drought tolerances. OsbZIP62 expression was induced by drought, hydrogen peroxide, and abscisic acid (ABA) treatment. Overexpression of OsbZIP62-VP64 (OsbZIP62V) enhanced the drought tolerance and oxidative stress tolerance of transgenic rice, while osbzip62 mutants exhibited the opposite phenotype. OsbZIP62-GFP was localized to the nucleus, and the N-terminal sequence (amino acids 1-68) was necessary for the transcriptional activation activity of OsbZIP62. RNA-seq analysis showed that the expression of many stress-related genes (e.g., OsGL1, OsNAC10, and DSM2) was upregulated in OsbZIP62V plants. Moreover, OsbZIP62 could bind to the promoters of several putative target genes and could interact with stress/ABA-activated protein kinases (SAPKs).

Conclusions: OsbZIP62 is involved in ABA signalling pathways and positively regulates rice drought tolerance by regulating the expression of genes associated with stress, and this gene could be used for the genetic modification of crops with improved drought tolerance.

Keywords: Abscisic acid; Drought tolerance; OsbZIP62; Oxidative tolerance; Rice; Transcription factor.

MeSH terms

  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Dehydration
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Oryza / physiology
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / physiology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified


  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Plant Proteins