Rice Science ›› 2022, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (4): 353-362.DOI: 10.1016/j.rsci.2021.12.009

• Research Paper • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A β-ketoacyl-CoA Synthase OsCUT1 Confers Increased Drought Tolerance in Rice

Gao Xiuying1,2,#, Zhang Ye3,#, Zhang Hongsheng1,2(), Huang Ji1,2()   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, College of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
    2Jiangsu Provincial Engineering Research Center of Seed Industry Science and Technology, Nanjing 210095, China
    3Suzhou Chien-Shiung Institute of Technology, Taicang 215411, China
  • Received:2021-08-24 Accepted:2021-12-13 Online:2022-07-06 Published:2022-06-01
  • Contact: Zhang Hongsheng, Huang Ji
  • About author:First author contact:

    #These authors contributed equally to this work


Drought stress is one of the major environmental factors affecting crop growth and productivity. Cuticular wax plays essential roles in protecting plants from environmental stress via forming a hydrophobic barrier on leaf epidermis. In this study, we analyzed nine members (OsCUT1?OsCUT9) of β-ketoacyl-CoA synthase, the rate-limiting key enzyme for cuticular wax synthesis in rice by homology search and domain prediction. The expression levels of OsCUT genes under different abiotic stresses were investigated and OsCUT1 down-regulated by abiotic stress was selected for further function validation. Compared to the wild type, overexpression of OsCUT1 (OX-OsCUT1) exhibited significantly increased drought resistance. Epicuticular wax was increased on the leaf surface of OX-OsCUT1 and the chlorophyll leaching experiment showed that the cuticular permeability was decreased in the OX-OsCUT1 plants. Moreover, overexpression of OsCUT1 didn’t result in the significant changes of major agronomic traits. In total, these results suggested that OsCUT1 is a promising gene for engineering rice plants with enhanced drought tolerance.

Key words: rice, β-ketoacyl-CoA synthase, drought tolerance, cuticular wax, OsCUT1