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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase 5 (OsCPK5) Overexpression in Upland Rice (Oryza sativa L.) under Water Deficit

da Cruz, Thais Ignez; Rocha, Dhiovanna Correia; Lanna, Anna Cristina; Dedicova, Beata; Vianello, Rosana Pereira; Brondani, Claudio


Water deficit significantly affects global crop growth and productivity, particularly in water-limited environments, such as upland rice cultivation, reducing grain yield. Plants activate various defense mechanisms during water deficit, involving numerous genes and complex metabolic pathways. Exploring homologous genes that are linked to enhanced drought tolerance through the use of genomic data from model organisms can aid in the functional validation of target species. We evaluated the upland rice OsCPK5 gene, an A. thaliana AtCPK6 homolog, by overexpressing it in the BRSMG Curinga cultivar. Transformants were assessed using a semi-automated phenotyping platform under two irrigation conditions: regular watering, and water deficit applied 79 days after seeding, lasting 14 days, followed by irrigation at 80% field capacity. The physiological data and leaf samples were collected at reproductive stages R3, R6, and R8. The genetically modified (GM) plants consistently exhibited higher OsCPK5 gene expression levels across stages, peaking during grain filling, and displayed reduced stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rate and increased water-use efficiency compared to non-GM (NGM) plants under drought. The GM plants also exhibited a higher filled grain percentage under both irrigation conditions. Their drought susceptibility index was 0.9 times lower than that of NGM plants, and they maintained a higher chlorophyll a/b index, indicating sustained photosynthesis. The NGM plants under water deficit exhibited more leaf senescence, while the OsCPK5-overexpressing plants retained their green leaves. Overall, OsCPK5 overexpression induced diverse drought tolerance mechanisms, indicating the potential for future development of more drought-tolerant rice cultivars.


water-use efficiency; gene expression; senescence; drought

Published in

2023, Volume: 12, number: 22, article number: 3826
Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science

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