Drought Tolerance Gene


Executive Summary


Many current applications to control drought tolerance in plants are focusing on the manipulation of gene regulation. Researchers at MSU have discovered that over-expression of a gene that encodes a major regulator of plant cellular signaling processes creates a high level of drought tolerance. The over-expressing plants maintain leaf function under drought stress, counteracting the cessation in growth which is the normal response in the unmodified plant. Thereby plant survival and growth is improved under drought conditions.  Over-expression of this signal mediation gene does not have apparent negative side-effects under water-replete conditions in the greenhouse, so unstressed plants appear to grow normally.


Description of Technology


Over-expression of a major regulator of plant cellular signaling process induces drought tolerance without negative effects under water-replete conditions. Plant survival is improved under drought conditions, while preserving yield under normal conditions.


Key Benefits

  • Plant protection and growth enhancement during drought stress
  • Increased vegetative functions during conditions of drought



  • Drought tolerant crop plants


Patent Status: 


US Patent 9,644,213


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: R. Brad Day, Patricia Santos, Caleb Knepper


Tech ID: TEC2012-0021


Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University