The increasing global demand for ethanol, sugar and its derivatives has driven the expansion of sugarcane agriculture in Brazil and worldwide. The occurrence of drought is one of the main limiting factors of this culture and various other commercially interesting, causing great economic losses. In this context, the use of biotechnology aimed at increasing water stress tolerance in plants is highly relevant. Previous studies in our laboratory have shown that sugarcane gene, when overexpressed in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) conferred strong drought and salinity tolerance in plants. This gene, named Scdr2, of totally unknown function, has a homologue in Arabidopsis thaliana also with biological functions not yet elucidated. This paper aims to extend the knowledge about the molecular function of the gene Scdr2. In this context, subcellular localization studies will be made, in addition to constructs for two-hybrid assays in yeast, in order to consider possible future protein interactions. Moreover, insertion mutants for the At2g23090 Arabidopsis thaliana gene, homologous to Scdr2, will be analyzed. After obtaining the homozygous mutant strains, the phenotype of these plants will be evaluated through application of water and salt stress, comparing them with wild plants. These molecular and physiological studies will contribute to a greater understanding of the drought and salinity tolerance mecanisms in plants.
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