Konkuk University Research Team Identifies Drought-tolerant Process of Plants at the Molecular Level

SEOUL, South Korea–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AbscisicAcidKonkuk University announced on December 12 that a team of Professor Dae-jin Yun at Konkuk Institute of Technology identified the drought-tolerant process for the first time at the molecular level and prepared a new biography for the development of anti-desert crops.

The team synthesizes the stress hormone Abscisic Acid (ABA) when the plant is exposed to a dry environment, activates the biodefense genes, closes the pores, prevents evaporation of moisture in the body, and resists drying. For the first time, the entire molecular process for how involved receptors (PYL), diphosphatase (ABI), and phosphatase (OST1) are activated and destroyed is identified.

The study was published in the September issue of the renowned Botanical journal, Molecular Plant (IF = 10.8, top 1.5%).

* Paper title: Rheostatic Control of ABA Signaling through HOS15-Mediated OST1 Degradation
* Author: Prof. Dae-jin Yun (corresponding author, Konkuk University), Dr. Akhtar Ali (1st author, Konkuk University)

Rapid climate change has resulted in more than 40% of the land area of desertification around the world and more than six times the size of Seoul each year. Environmental problems and reduced food productivity due to desertification are emerging as a major threat to future human survival. Therefore, many researchers are trying to develop dry-resistant crops by studying how plants recognize external environmental changes and resist the changing environment.

Plants can’t move, but they have the ability to sense and adapt to the changing environment. When a plant is exposed to a dry environment, it synthesizes the stress hormone ABA, acts as a signaling material, activates the biodefense gene, and regulates the opening and closing of pores, thereby preventing evaporation of moisture and enduring a dry environment.

Konkuk University research team found that OST1, a kinase, plays a key role in the signaling process mediated by the dry stress hormone ABA.

When the plant is exposed to a dry environment, it synthesizes the stress hormone Abscisic Acid (ABA), which binds to the receptor PYR, and dehydrogenase ABI, a phosphatase that interferes with the activation of the dry signal, is isolated from OST1.

This activates the OST1, which activates subregulatory electronic regulators, activating genes that are resistant to drying, allowing the plant to withstand dry conditions.

OST1 decomposes after a certain period of time and must return to its normal level. This is called desensitization. This desensitization can be said to be a self-protection function of the living body to prevent the side effects caused by the sustained state of excitation by the activation of the OST.

This research is the first to identify at the molecular level the whole process of how plants activate signals and exert biodefense through desensitization reactions when exposed to the outside environment. It is considered to have contributed greatly to raising the academic level by leading the world.

It is also expected to use this principle to develop plants that are resistant to drying, to cultivate crops in deserts and arid regions, and to contribute to solving the food problems facing humanity in the future.

This research, conducted by Dr. Ali and Prof. Dae-jin Yun in Konkuk University, was supported by the system synthesis agricultural biotechnology project group of the next generation Bio Green 21 project supported by the Rural Development Administration of Korea.


Konkuk University

Ju Seung Hong, +82-2-450-3131~2

[email protected]

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