Screening for Abiotic Stress Response in Rice

Telma Fernandes, Fredilson Melo, Maria Beatriz Vieira, Tiago F. Lourenço, Chiara Pucciariello, Nelson J.M. Saibo, Isabel A. Abreu, M. Margarida Oliveira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is the staple food for over half of the world population. However, most rice varieties are severely injured by abiotic stresses, with strong social and economic impacts. Understanding rice responses to stress may guide breeding for more tolerant varieties. However, the lack of consistency in the design of the stress experiments described in the literature limits comparative studies and output assessments. The use of identical setups is the only way to generate comparable data. This chapter comprises three sections, describing the experimental conditions established at the Genomics of Plant Stress (GPlantS) unit of ITQB NOVA to assess the response of rice plants to different abiotic stresses—high salinity, cold, drought, simulated drought, and submergence—and their recovery capacity when intended. All sections include a detailed description of the materials and methodology and useful notes gathered from our team experience. We use seedlings since rice plants at this stage show high sensitivity to abiotic stresses. For the salt, cold, and simulated drought (PEG, polyethylene glycol) stress assays, we grow rice seedlings in a hydroponic system, while for the drought assay, plants are grown in soil and subjected to water withholding. For submergence, we use water-filled Magenta boxes. All setups enable visual score determination and are suitable for sample collection during stress imposition and also recovery. The proposed methodologies are affordable and straightforward to implement in most labs, allowing the discrimination of several rice genotypes at the molecular and phenotypic levels.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Abiotic stress
  • Cold stress
  • Drought
  • Hydroponics
  • Oryza sativa
  • PEG (simulated drought)
  • Salt stress
  • Seedling stage
  • Submergence


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