Publications by authors named "Roy Njoroge Kimotho"

2 Publications

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Transcription Factors Associated with Abiotic and Biotic Stress Tolerance and Their Potential for Crops Improvement.

Genes (Basel) 2019 09 30;10(10). Epub 2019 Sep 30.

Key Laboratory of Agricultural Water Resources, Hebei Laboratory of Agricultural Water Saving, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050021, China.

In field conditions, crops are adversely affected by a wide range of abiotic stresses including drought, cold, salt, and heat, as well as biotic stresses including pests and pathogens. These stresses can have a marked effect on crop yield. The present and future effects of climate change necessitate the improvement of crop stress tolerance. Plants have evolved sophisticated stress response strategies, and genes that encode transcription factors (TFs) that are master regulators of stress-responsive genes are excellent candidates for crop improvement. Related examples in recent studies include TF gene modulation and overexpression approaches in crop species to enhance stress tolerance. However, much remains to be discovered about the diverse plant TFs. Of the >80 TF families, only a few, such as NAC, MYB, WRKY, bZIP, and ERF/DREB, with vital roles in abiotic and biotic stress responses have been intensively studied. Moreover, although significant progress has been made in deciphering the roles of TFs in important cereal crops, fewer TF genes have been elucidated in sorghum. As a model drought-tolerant crop, sorghum research warrants further focus. This review summarizes recent progress on major TF families associated with abiotic and biotic stress tolerance and their potential for crop improvement, particularly in sorghum. Other TF families and non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression are discussed briefly. Despite the emphasis on sorghum, numerous examples from wheat, rice, maize, and barley are included. Collectively, the aim of this review is to illustrate the potential application of TF genes for stress tolerance improvement and the engineering of resistant crops, with an emphasis on sorghum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/genes10100771DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827364PMC
September 2019

Transcription factors involved in abiotic stress responses in Maize ( L.) and their roles in enhanced productivity in the post genomics era.

PeerJ 2019 8;7:e7211. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

Key Laboratory of Agricultural Water Resources, Hebei Laboratory of Agricultural Water Saving, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, China.

Background: Maize ( L.) is a principal cereal crop cultivated worldwide for human food, animal feed, and more recently as a source of biofuel. However, as a direct consequence of water insufficiency and climate change, frequent occurrences of both biotic and abiotic stresses have been reported in various regions around the world, and recently, this has become a constant threat in increasing global maize yields. Plants respond to abiotic stresses by utilizing the activities of transcription factors (TFs), which are families of genes coding for specific TF proteins. TF target genes form a regulon that is involved in the repression/activation of genes associated with abiotic stress responses. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to have a systematic study on each TF family, the downstream target genes they regulate, and the specific TF genes involved in multiple abiotic stress responses in maize and other staple crops.

Method: In this review, the main TF families, the specific TF genes and their regulons that are involved in abiotic stress regulation will be briefly discussed. Great emphasis will be given on maize abiotic stress improvement throughout this review, although other examples from different plants like rice, Arabidopsis, wheat, and barley will be used.

Results: We have described in detail the main TF families in maize that take part in abiotic stress responses together with their regulons. Furthermore, we have also briefly described the utilization of high-efficiency technologies in the study and characterization of TFs involved in the abiotic stress regulatory networks in plants with an emphasis on increasing maize production. Examples of these technologies include next-generation sequencing, microarray analysis, machine learning, and RNA-Seq.

Conclusion: In conclusion, it is expected that all the information provided in this review will in time contribute to the use of TF genes in the research, breeding, and development of new abiotic stress tolerant maize cultivars.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.7211DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6622165PMC
July 2019