The family of Euonymus-related lectins (EULs) comprises a group of stress-inducible lectins that is ubiquitous in all terrestrial plants. These carbohydrate-binding proteins are only expressed after the plant was subjected to environmental stresses, such as drought and increased salt concentrations, or pathogen attack. We have identified and characterized multiple stress-inducible lectins of this family in rice. Data suggest that these EULs confer tolerance to plants against abiotic and biotic stresses and hence can be useful tools to increase the tolerance of crops to cope with external stress factors.
The major aim of this research proposal is to decipher the physiological importance of stress inducible EULs occurring in rice. Subsequently these data can be exploited to create plants with a better growth and increased tolerance against different abiotic stresses and pests. The construction of transgenic rice lines with altered expression of rice EUL genes will allow to investigate the physiological importance of rice EUL genes for plant growth and crop protection.