Splicing defect of StDRO2 intron 1 promotes potato root growth by disturbing auxin transport to adapt to drought stress
Good root systems are vital in plant growth. In rice, a gene called OsDRO1
helps control root development. Scientists from Yunnan Agricultural
University and partners wanted to know if a similar gene in potatoes, called
StDRO2, also plays a similar role in root system architecture. The results
of their study are released in the Horticultural Plant Journal.
Through CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, the research team developed potatoes with
a mutated StDRO2 gene. This led to potato plants with longer roots, taller
plant height, and heavier tubers, especially under drought conditions. These
changes were linked to the plant hormone auxin. The mutation transformed the
transportation of auxin in the roots, improving root growth and drought
Based on the results, the research team suggests that StDRO2 is a key gene
for root growth and drought tolerance in potatoes, and can help develop new
ways of improving potato crops.