Exploring traditional aus-type rice for metabolites conferring drought tolerance


Traditional varieties and landraces belonging to the aus-type group of rice (Oryza sativa L.) are known to be highly tolerant to environmental stresses, such as drought and heat, and are therefore recognized as a valuable genetic resource for crop improvement. Using two aus-type (Dular, N22) and two drought intolerant irrigated varieties (IR64, IR74) an untargeted metabolomics analysis was conducted to identify drought-responsive metabolites associated with tolerance.


The superior drought tolerance of Dular and N22 compared with the irrigated varieties was confirmed by phenotyping plants grown to maturity after imposing severe drought stress in a dry-down treatment. Dular and N22 did not show a significant reduction in grain yield compared to well-watered control plants, whereas the intolerant varieties showed a significant reduction in both, total spikelet number and grain yield. The metabolomics analysis was conducted with shoot and root samples of plants at the tillering stage at the end of the dry-down treatment. The data revealed an overall higher accumulation of N-rich metabolites (amino acids and nucleotide-related metabolites allantoin and uridine) in shoots of the tolerant varieties. In roots, the aus-type varieties were characterised by a higher reduction of metabolites representative of glycolysis and the TCA cycle, such as malate, glyceric acid and glyceric acid-3-phosphate. On the other hand, the oligosaccharide raffinose showed a higher fold increase in both, shoots and roots of the sensitive genotypes. The data further showed that, for certain drought-responsive metabolites, differences between the contrasting rice varieties were already evident under well-watered control conditions.


The drought tolerance-related metabolites identified in the aus-type varieties provide a valuable set of protective compounds and an entry point for assessing genetic diversity in the underlying pathways for developing drought tolerant rice and other crops.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Maintainer Email
Article Host Type publisher
Article Is Open Access true
Article License Type cc-by
Article Version Type publishedVersion
Citation Report https://scite.ai/reports/10.1186/s12284-017-0189-7
DFW Organisation RRes
DFW Work Package 1
DOI 10.1186/s12284-017-0189-7
Date Last Updated 2019-05-26T23:25:14.168072
Evidence open (via page says license)
Journal Is Open Access true
Open Access Status gold
PDF URL https://thericejournal.springeropen.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s12284-017-0189-7
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1186/s12284-017-0189-7