Expression of Potato StDRO1 in Arabidopsis Alters Root Architecture and Drought Tolerance

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L) is the third important crop for providing calories to
a large human population, and is considered sensitive to moderately sensitive to
drought stress conditions. The development of drought-tolerant, elite varieties of potato
is a challenging task, which can be achieved through molecular breeding. Recently,
the DEEPER ROOTING 1 (DRO1) gene has been identified in rice, which influences
plant root system and regulates grain yield under drought stress conditions. The
potato StDRO1 protein is mainly localized in the plasma membrane of tobacco leaf
cells, and overexpression analysis of StDRO1 in Arabidopsis resulted in an increased
lateral root number, but decreased lateral root angle, lateral branch angle, and silique
angle. Additionally, the drought treatment analysis indicated that StDRO1 regulated
drought tolerance and rescued the defective root architecture and drought-tolerant
phenotypes of Atdro1, an Arabidopsis AtDRO1 null mutant. Furthermore, StDRO1
expression was significantly higher in the drought-tolerant potato cultivar “Unica”
compared to the drought-sensitive cultivar “Atlantic.” The transcriptional response of
StDRO1 under drought stress occurred significantly earlier in Unica than in Atlantic.
Collectively, the outcome of the present investigation elucidated the role of DRO1
function in the alternation of root architecture, which potentially acts as a key gene
in the development of a drought stress-tolerant cultivar. Furthermore, these findings will
provide the theoretical basis for molecular breeding of drought-tolerant potato cultivars
for the farming community.

Citation: Sun, C.; Liang, W.; Yan, K.; Xu, D.; Qin, T.; Fiaz, S.; Kear, P.; Bi, Z.; Liu, Y.; Liu, Z.; Zhang, J.; Bai, J. 2022. Expression of Potato StDRO1 in Arabidopsis Alters Root Architecture and Drought Tolerance. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13.
2022-06-14
ANDEAN ROOTS AND TUBERS, BREEDING, CLIMATE-SMART AGRICULTURE, FOOD SECURITY, FOOD SYSTEMS, POTATO AGRI-FOOD SYSTEMS, POTATOES

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