Enhance the tolerance of crop plants to abiotic stresses by modulating the senescence associated gene expression

Project: Research project

Grant Program

Faculty Development Competitive Research Grants 2020-2022

Project Description

Different environmental stresses effect on growth of plant by induction of premature leaf senescence, reduction of biomass and yields of annual crops with concomitant economical loss to farmers. Drought and heat will become more frequent as global warming increases, thus there is need to develop agricultural strategies that synchronize with the changing environment.
In this research, we are studying senescence related genes which may result in developing premature senescence in plants under environmental stress. Up-regulated and/or down-regulated senescence-associated genes were selected in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana during the cold, salt, drought and salinity stresses, which are common in Kazakhstan, from the available microarray data (GENEVESTIGATOR). The role of these selected genes on developing the senescence symptom under specific stresses is not yet elucidated. We hypothesized that the modulation of senescence associated gene may change the development of senescence symptom. This expression change of the senescence gene will be conducted as follows: overexpressing and/or silencing the senescence associated gene by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation system in wild type (WT) plant. The SARK (AT4G30520) will be used as model gene for validation of the transformation system in A. thaliana and for verification of the hypothesis. Evaluation of the response of the plant with modulated AtSARK expression to the selected stressors will be performed by analysis of the molecular and protein components as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS) response in comparison to WT. If we prove the hypothesis in model plant (A. thaliana) by getting stress-tolerant transgenic plant to the selected stresses, then we will try to follow the above steps in another system, Brachypodium distachyon, which is a model for temperate grasses such as barley, wheat and oats.
Effective start/end date1/1/2012/31/22


abiotic stress
gene expression
Arabidopsis thaliana
signs and symptoms (plants)
salt stress
Brachypodium distachyon
cold stress
global warming
plant response
transgenic plants
reactive oxygen species
water stress
plant growth


  • Abiotic stress
  • Arabidopsis
  • Agrobacterium-mediated transformation
  • Senescence
  • Stress induced Senescence