Research Article

Drought-tolerant rice germplasm developed from an Oryza officinalis transformation-competent artificial chromosome clone

Published: October 29, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (4) : 13667-13678 DOI: 10.4238/2015.October.28.29

Abstract

Oryza officinalis has proven to be a natural gene reservoir for the improvement of domesticated rice as it carries many desirable traits; however, the transfer of elite genes to cultivated rice by conventional hybridization has been a challenge for rice breeders. In this study, the conserved sequence of plant stress-related NAC transcription factors was selected as a probe to screen the O. officinalis genomic transformation-competent artificial chromosome library by Southern blot; 11 positive transformation-competent artificial chromosome clones were subsequently detected. By Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, an indica rice variety, Huajingxian 74 (HJX74), was transformed with a TAC clone harboring a NAC gene-positive genomic fragment from O. officinalis. Molecular analysis revealed that the O. officinalis genomic fragment was integrated into the genome of HJX74. The transgenic lines exhibited high tolerance to drought stress. Our results demonstrate that the introduction of stress-related transformation-competent artificial chromosome clones, coupled with a transgenic validation approach, is an effective method of transferring agronomically important genes from O. officinalis to cultivated rice.

Oryza officinalis has proven to be a natural gene reservoir for the improvement of domesticated rice as it carries many desirable traits; however, the transfer of elite genes to cultivated rice by conventional hybridization has been a challenge for rice breeders. In this study, the conserved sequence of plant stress-related NAC transcription factors was selected as a probe to screen the O. officinalis genomic transformation-competent artificial chromosome library by Southern blot; 11 positive transformation-competent artificial chromosome clones were subsequently detected. By Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, an indica rice variety, Huajingxian 74 (HJX74), was transformed with a TAC clone harboring a NAC gene-positive genomic fragment from O. officinalis. Molecular analysis revealed that the O. officinalis genomic fragment was integrated into the genome of HJX74. The transgenic lines exhibited high tolerance to drought stress. Our results demonstrate that the introduction of stress-related transformation-competent artificial chromosome clones, coupled with a transgenic validation approach, is an effective method of transferring agronomically important genes from O. officinalis to cultivated rice.