In the drought stress project, we are using rice as the model as well as target crop. Rice productivity is severely affected by water scarcity, especially when it occurs during essential periods of plant growth such as the reproductive stage.
Developing a more comprehensive understanding of drought and plants' complex responses to this environmental stress requires a global view of the multiple interactive components involved. The data from genome-wide comparative transcriptome analysis of drought responses in rice will lead to developing a gene-regulation network.
We are looking at the functionality of select, drought-responsive genes identified in the interaction network by transferring them into rice using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The genetically engineered rice plants evaluated for their growth responses to drought stress under greenhouse simulations would help our understanding of rice plant biology under field conditions as well as improve its adaptability, which will contribute to the sustainable rice production worldwide.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture