A Novel Non-coding RNA Regulates Drought Stress Tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana

  • Nour H. Albesher

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Drought (soil water deficit) as a major adverse environmental condition can result in serious reduction in plant growth and crop production. Plants respond and adapt to drought stresses by triggering various signalling pathways leading to physiological, metabolic and developmental changes that may ultimately contribute to enhanced tolerance to the stress. Here, a novel non-coding RNA (ncRNA) involved in plant drought stress tolerance was identified. We showed that increasing the expression of this ncRNA led to enhanced sensitivity during seed germination and seedling growth to the phytohormone abscisic acid. The mutant seedlings are also more sensitive to osmotic stress inhibition of lateral root growth. Consistently, seedlings with enhanced expression of this ncRNA exhibited reduced transiprational water loss and were more drought-tolerant than the wild type. Future analyses of the mechanism for its role in drought tolerance may help us to understand how plant drought tolerance could be further regulated by this novel ncRNA.
Date of AwardMay 2014
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorLiming Xiong (Supervisor)


  • Abiotic Stress
  • Drought
  • ncRNA
  • arabidopsis thaliana

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