OsNAC45 is Involved in ABA Response and Salt Tolerance in Rice

Rice (N Y). 2020 Dec 7;13(1):79. doi: 10.1186/s12284-020-00440-1.


Background: Salt stress threatens crop yields all over the world. Many NAC transcription factors have been reported to be involved in different abiotic stress responses, but it remains unclear how loss of these transcription factors alters the transcriptomes of plants. Previous reports have demonstrated that overexpression of OsNAC45 enhances salt and drought tolerance in rice, and that OsNAC45 may regulate the expression of two specific genes, OsPM1 and OsLEA3-1.

Results: Here, we found that ABA repressed, and NaCl promoted, the expression of OsNAC45 in roots. Immunostaining showed that OsNAC45 was localized in all root cells and was mainly expressed in the stele. Loss of OsNAC45 decreased the sensitivity of rice plants to ABA and over-expressing this gene had the opposite effect, which demonstrated that OsNAC45 played an important role during ABA signal responses. Knockout of OsNAC45 also resulted in more ROS accumulation in roots and increased sensitivity of rice to salt stress. Transcriptome sequencing assay found that thousands of genes were differently expressed in OsNAC45-knockout plants. Most of the down-regulated genes participated in plant stress responses. Quantitative real time RT-PCR suggested that seven genes may be regulated by OsNAC45 including OsCYP89G1, OsDREB1F, OsEREBP2, OsERF104, OsPM1, OsSAMDC2, and OsSIK1.

Conclusions: These results indicate that OsNAC45 plays vital roles in ABA signal responses and salt tolerance in rice. Further characterization of this gene may help us understand ABA signal pathway and breed rice plants that are more tolerant to salt stress.

Keywords: ABA; OsNAC45; Rice; Salinity; Salt tolerance.