Conserved miR164-targeted NAC genes negatively regulate drought resistance in rice.
IF: 7.298
Cited by: 252


MicroRNAs constitute a large group of endogenous small RNAs of ~22 nt that emerge as vital regulators, mainly by targeting mRNAs for post-transcriptional repression. Previous studies have revealed that the miR164 family in Arabidopsis is comprised of three members which guide the cleavage of the mRNAs of five NAC genes to modulate developmental processes. However, the functions of the miR164-targeted NAC genes in crops are poorly deciphered. In this study, the conserved features of six miR164-targeted NAC genes (OMTN1-OMTN6) in rice are described, and evidence is provided that four of them confer a negative regulatory role in drought resistance. OMTN proteins have the characteristics of typical NAC transcriptional factors. The miR164 recognition sites of the OMTN genes are highly conserved in rice germplasms. Deletion of the recognition sites impaired the transactivation activity, indicating that the conserved recognition sites play a crucial role in maintaining the function of the OMTN proteins. The OMTN genes were responsive to abiotic stresses, and showed diverse spatio-temporal expression patterns in rice. Overexpression of OMTN2, OMTN3, OMTN4, and OMTN6 in rice led to negative effects on drought resistance at the reproductive stage. The expression of numerous genes related to stress response, development, and metabolism was altered in OMTN2-, OMTN3-, OMTN4-, and OMTN6-overexpressing plants. Most of the up-regulated genes in the OMTN-overexpressing plants were down-regulated by drought stress. The results suggest that the conserved miR164-targeted NAC genes may be negative regulators of drought tolerance in rice, in addition to their reported roles in development.


Abiotic stress
Oryza sativa

MeSH terms

Amino Acid Sequence
Base Sequence
Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
Molecular Sequence Data
Plant Proteins
RNA, Plant
Sequence Alignment
Transcription Factors


Fang, Yujie
Xie, Kabin
Xiong, Lizhong

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