Low temperature stress is one of the major limiting factors affecting rice productivity in higher altitudes. DREB1A and DREB1B, are two transcription factors that have been reported to play key regulatory role in low temperature tolerance. In order to understand whether natural genetic variation in these two loci leads to cold tolerance or susceptibility, OsDREB1A and OsDREB1B were targeted across several rice genotypes showing differential response to low temperature. Expression data suggests induction of gene expression in shoots in response to low temperature in both tolerant and susceptible genotypes. Upon sequence analysis of 20 rice genotypes, eight nucleotide changes were identified including two in the coding region and six in the $5'$UTR. None of the discovered novel variations lie in the conserved region of the genes under study, thereby causing little or no changes in putative function of the corresponding proteins. In silico analysis using a diverse set of 400 O. sativa revealed much lower nucleotide diversity estimates across two DREB loci and one other gene (MYB2) involved in DREB pathway than those observed for other rice genes. None of the changes showed association with seedling stage cold tolerance, suggesting that nucleotide changes in DREB loci are unlikely to contribute to low temperature tolerance. So far, data concerning the physiological role and regulation of DREB1 in different genetic background are very limited; it is to be expected that they will be studied extensively in the near future.
Volume 102, 2023
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