Elevated Levels of CYP94 Family Gene Expression Alleviate the Jasmonate Response and Enhance Salt Tolerance in Rice

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The plant hormone jasmonate and its conjugates (JAs) have important roles in growth control, leaf senescence and defense responses against insects and microbial attacks. JA biosynthesis is induced by several stresses, including mechanical wounding, pathogen attacks, drought and salinity stresses. However, the roles of JAs under abiotic stress conditions are unclear. Here we report that increased expression of the Cyt P450 family gene CYP94C2b enhanced viability of rice plants under saline conditions. This gene encodes an enzyme closely related to CYP94C1 that catalyzes conversion of bioactive jasmonate-isoleucine (JA-Ile) into 12OH-JA-Ile and 12COOH-JA-Ile. Inactivation of JA was facilitated in a rice line with enhanced CYP94C2b expression, and responses to exogenous JA and wounding were alleviated. Moreover, salt stress-induced leaf senescence but not natural senescence was delayed in the transgenic rice. These results suggest that bioactive JAs have a negative effect on viability under salt stress conditions and demonstrate that manipulating JA metabolism confers enhanced salt tolerance in rice.

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