India - Transfer of regulatory genes from Arabidopsis to Indian mustard for drought tolerance and yield increase

Lead Research Organisation: University of Essex
Department Name: Biological Sciences


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Description We have noted that over-expression of the regulatory gene HSFA1b in Indian Mustard causes a profound slowing of growing tip formation and consequent recovery of shoots. This is consistent with work we have been doing on the same gene in Arabidopsis which targets not only stress -responsive genes but also genes involved in growth and development. This aspect of HSFA1b function has not been described at the molecular level. The observation by our JNU colleagues provide a potential means of developing a bioassay to assesses how genes involved in the switch from growth to stress defence in plants actually function. Update - the plants appear to show resistance to abiotic stress but we have not been able to get material out of India (we found the bureaucracy insurmountable). If we are successful in the PORI bid, then we can perhaps use the arrangements in place for this programme to obtain material to check in Essex.
Update 2019 - the PORI bid on abiotic stress tolerance in Indian mustard coordinated and led by York was successful and part of the plan is to progress research on HSFA1b Indian Mustard
Exploitation Route We continue and will try incorporate the work into a publication we are writing. We are currently developing a re-submission manuscript have acquired extra data from French colleagues. However, these data do not now involve Indian colleagues. Our best hope is that if we get PORI funding we can complee this work on the side both in India and UK.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education

Description We hope that Indian Mustard varieties that come out of this work will enter into some form of field trialling, although the willingness to take up GM material by commercial entities is low. At the moment there have been no takers for this work, but it is still in development. Recently (summer 2017) our opposite number in India Prof Sarin retired and this led to a complete loss of impetus for further development. However, contact made in india has allowed us to further our ambitions possibly if we are successful with 2 BBSRC PORI bids which are pending. In summary, the connectiosn made in Indai, although not as anticipated originally, my allow us to further this research.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education
Impact Types Cultural,Economic