? Overexpressing and RNA interfering OsDRAP1 transgenic rice plants exhibited significantly improved and reduced drought tolerance, but accompanied with negative effects on development and yield.
The dehydration responsive element binding (DREBs) genes are important transcription factors which play a crucial role in plant abiotic stress tolerances. In this study, we functionally characterized a DREB2-like gene, OsDRAP1 conferring drought tolerance (DT) in rice. OsDRAP1, containing many cis-elements in its promoter region, was expressed in all organs (mainly expressed in vascular tissues) of rice, and induced by a variety of environmental stresses and plant hormones. Overexpressing OsDRAP1 transgenic plants exhibited significantly improved DT; while OsDRAP1 RNA interfering plants exhibited significantly reduced DT which also accompanied with significant negative effects on development and yield. Overexpression of OsDRAP1 has a positive impact on maintaining water balance, redox homeostasis and vascular development in transgenic rice plants under drought stress. OsDRAP1 interacted with many genes/proteins and could activate many downstream DT related genes, including important transcription factors such as OsCBSX3 to response drought stress, indicating the OsDRAP1-mediated pathways for DT involve complex genes networks. All these results provide a basis for further complete understanding of the OsDRAP1 mediated gene networks and their related phenotypic effects.