Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 37, Issue 11, pp 1585–1595 | Cite as

Overexpressing heat-shock protein OsHSP50.2 improves drought tolerance in rice

  • Jianhua XiangEmail author
  • Xinbo Chen
  • Wei Hu
  • Yanci Xiang
  • Mingli Yan
  • Jieming Wang
Original Article


Key message

OsHSP50.2, an HSP90 family gene up-regulated by heat and osmotic stress treatments, positively regulates drought stress tolerance probably by modulating ROS homeostasis and osmotic adjustment in rice.


Heat-shock proteins (HSPs) serve as molecular chaperones for a variety of client proteins in abiotic stress response and play pivotal roles in protecting plants against stress, but the molecular mechanism remains largely unknown. Here, we report an HSP90 family gene, OsHSP50.2, which acts as a positive regulator in drought stress tolerance in rice (Oryza sativa). OsHSP50.2 was ubiquitously expressed and its transcript level was up-regulated by heat and osmotic stress treatments. Overexpression of OsHSP50.2 in rice reduced water loss and enhanced the transgenic plant tolerance to drought and osmotic stresses. The OsHSP50.2-overexpressing plants exhibited significantly lower levels of electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde (MDA) and less decrease of chlorophyll than wild-type plants under drought stress. Moreover, the OsHSP50.2-overexpressing plants had significantly higher SOD activity under drought stress compared with the wild type. These results imply that OsHSP50.2 positively regulates drought stress tolerance in rice, probably through the modulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis. Additionally, the OsHSP50.2-overexpressing plants accumulated significantly higher content of proline than the wild type under drought stress, which contributes to the improved protection ability from drought stress damage via osmotic adjustment. Our findings reveal that OsHSP50.2 plays a crucial role in drought stress response, and it may possess high potential usefulness in drought tolerance improvement of rice.


Drought tolerance Reactive oxygen species Heat-shock protein OsHSP50.2 Oryza sativa 



Heat-shock factor


Heat-shock protein




Murashige and Skoog




Polyethylene glycol


Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction


Reactive oxygen species


Reverse transcription


Superoxide dismutase



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31401943 and 31671628), the Research Foundation of Education Bureau of Hunan Province, China (Grant No. 14C0453) and Southern Regional Collaborative Innovation Center for Grain and Oil Crops in China, Hunan Agricultural University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

299_2018_2331_MOESM1_ESM.doc (29 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 29 KB)
299_2018_2331_MOESM2_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 35 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Ecological Landscape RestorationHunan University of Science and TechnologyXiangtanChina
  2. 2.College of Bioscience and BiotechnologyHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaChina
  3. 3.School of Life ScienceHunan University of Science and TechnologyXiangtanChina

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