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The rice gene Os03g0805100 was reported as SQS in 2012[1].

Annotated Information


It is demonstrated that RNAi-mediated disruption of a rice farnesyltransferase/squalene synthase (SQS) by maize squalene synthase improves drought tolerance at both the vegetative and reproductive stages[1].

GO assignment(s): GO:0004310,GO:0008610, GO:0009058, GO:0016021, GO:0016740


  • Twenty-day-old seedlings of wild type (Nipponbare) and seven independent events of transgenic RNAi lines showed no difference in morphology. When subjected to water stress for a period of 32 d under growth chamber conditions, transgenic positives showed delayed wilting, conserved more soil water, and improved recovery[1].
  • When five independent events along with wild-type plants were subjected to drought at the reproductive stage under greenhouse conditions, the transgenic plants lost water more slowly compared with the wild type, through reduced stomatal conductance and the retention of high leaf relative water content (RWC). After 28 d of slow progressive soil drying, transgenic plants recovered better and flowered earlier than wild-type plants[1].
  • The yield of water-stressed transgenic positive plants ranged from 14–39% higher than wild-type plants. When grown in plates with Yoshida’s nutrient solution with 1.2% agar, transgenic positives from three independent events showed increased root length and an enhanced number of lateral roots. The RNAi-mediated inactivation produced reduced stomatal conductance and subsequent drought tolerance[1].


The reduced expression of the SQS gene did not result in any alteration in plant morphology except for two plants in the event RIFGOCW[1].


Figure 1. Phylogenetic analysis of SQS gene done with next generation biology workbench presented in Newick (Phylip) Tree format.(from reference [1]).
  • The sequence similarity search using BLASTP revealed that rice SQS showed 87% sequence similarity with maize SQS, 74% with soybean SQS, 72% with Medicago truncatulata, and 70% with Arabidopsis SQS1. There appears to be another squalene synthase in rice (Os07g0200700) which has 78% sequence similarity with Os03g0805100[1].
  • The tree results revealed that SQS genes of monocots (rice, maize) are more closely related. It also indicated that the SQS genes from monocots and dicots form distinct groups, and among dicots the clustering of families is seen (Fig. 1)[1].

Labs working on this gene

  • Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO-65211, USA
  • Syngenta Biotechnology Inc, Research Triangle Park, NC-27709, USA


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Manavalan L P, Chen X, Clarke J, et al. RNAi-mediated disruption of squalene synthase improves drought tolerance and yield in rice[J]. Journal of experimental botany, 2012, 63(1): 163-175.

Structured Information