SNF 1-Related Protein Kinase 2 (SnRK2) is a family of kinases which
regulates hyper-osmotic stress signaling and abscisic acid-dependent
development in plants. In
the osmotic stress/ABA-activated protein kinase 2 (SAPK2) is the main
mediator of ABA signaling. However, it has not been fully studied. Dengji
Lou from the Chinese Academy of Sciences studied the function of OsSAPK2
using loss-of-function mutants produced through CRISPR-Cas9 system.
The OsSAPK2 expression level was found to be strongly upregulated by
salinity, and polyethylene glycol (PEG) treatments. The sapk2 mutants
exhibited an ABA-insensitive phenotype, suggesting that OsSAPK2's role is
related to ABA-mediated seed dormancy. The ossapk2 mutants were also more
sensitive to drought stress and reactive oxygen species, indicating its
importance in rice drought responses.
Further analysis revealed that OsSAPK2 increased drought tolerance in rice
by reducing water loss by promoting stomatal closure, and upregulating the
expression of stress-response
and inducing the expression of antioxidant enzyme genes to promote
These results imply that OsSAPK2 is a potential candidate gene for future
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