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Open AccessArticle

A Novel Stay-Green Mutant of Rice with Delayed Leaf Senescence and Better Harvest Index Confers Drought Tolerance

1
ICAR-National Institute for Plant Biotechnology, New Delhi 110012, India
2
PG and Research Department of Botany, National College, Tiruchirapalli 620001, India
3
ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi 110012, India
4
Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi 110001, India
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2019, 8(10), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8100375
Received: 11 July 2019 / Revised: 9 August 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 26 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Plant Mutagenesis Research)
Three Ethyl methansulphonate (EMS)-induced stay-green mutants (SGM-1, SGM-2 and SGM-3) and their wild-type (WT), were tested for their Stay-Green (SG) and drought tolerance nature as the relation between these two attributes is not yet established in rice. In the dark induced senescence assay, SGM-3 showed delayed senescence while SGM-1 and SGM-2 showed complete lack of senescence. Mutants showed stable transcript abundance over time, for 15 candidate genes (CGs) associated with senescence, compared to the WT. SGM-3 however showed moderately increasing transcript abundance over time for ATG6a, ATG4a, NYC1, NOL and NYC3. Only SGM-3 performed better than the WT for yield and harvest index under well irrigated as well as drought conditions, though all the mutants showed better performance for other agronomic traits under both the conditions and ascorbate peroxidase activity under drought. Thus, SG trait showed positive correlation with drought tolerance though only SGM-3 could convert this into higher harvest index. Sequence analysis of 80 senescence-associated genes including the 15 CGs showed non-synonymous mutations in four and six genes in SGM-1 and SGM-2 respectively, while no SNPs were found in SGM-3. Analysis of the earlier reported Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) regions in SGM-3 revealed negligible variations from WT, suggesting it to be a novel SG mutant. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought tolerance; EMS induced mutants; Nagina 22; rice; stay-green trait drought tolerance; EMS induced mutants; Nagina 22; rice; stay-green trait
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Ramkumar, M.K.; Senthil Kumar, S.; Gaikwad, K.; Pandey, R.; Chinnusamy, V.; Singh, N.K.; Singh, A.K.; Mohapatra, T.; Sevanthi, A.M. A Novel Stay-Green Mutant of Rice with Delayed Leaf Senescence and Better Harvest Index Confers Drought Tolerance. Plants 2019, 8, 375.

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