Rehovot, Israel
Rehovot, Israel

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Polynucleotides and isolated polypeptides, nucleic acid constructs comprising the isolated polynucleotides, transgenic plants expressing same and methods of using same for increasing abiotic stress tolerance, yield, biomass, growth rate, vigor, oil content, fiber yield, fiber quality, and/or nitrogen use efficiency of a plant are disclosed.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETOPEN-1-2014 | Award Amount: 4.87M | Year: 2016

For a new green revolution to feed the continually increasing population, agriculture productivity will have to be significantly improved. Photorespiration represents a big challenge in this respect, because it dissipates energy and leads to the futile loss of CO2, thereby limiting plant growth yield. Implementing an efficient metabolic bypass for photorespiration can therefore increase the photosynthetic efficiency of many cultivated crops. Several such routes were previously proposed. However, these routes were limited to existing enzymes and pathways and provided only partial improvement. Here, we propose a radically different approach: to engineer entirely novel CO2-neutral or CO2-positive photorespiration bypasses based on novel enzyme chemistry that support significantly higher agricultural yields. These bypass routes could support 60% higher biomass yield per turn of the Calvin Cycle and >30% higher yield per ATP. Our project innovatively integrates different research disciplines and combines academic research with industrial implementation. In silico studies will integrate biochemical logic and pathway modelling to explore all possible photorespiration pathways and identify the most efficient routes. In vitro research will establish novel enzyme functions via enzyme engineering and directed evolution. Full pathways will be reconstituted and optimized in vitro using a novel mass spectrometry based platform. High in vivo activity will be selected by implementing the pathways in engineered E. coli strains. Enhanced photosynthetic efficiency will be demonstrated in cyanobacteria expressing the synthetic pathways. Finally, the most promising synthetic pathways will be implemented in higher plants and growth phenotypes will be monitored. The proposed project comprises a significant advance in synthetic biology applying biochemical principles to modify the very core of carbon metabolism with synthetic pathways that carry multiple novel enzymatic functions.


Provided are isolated polynucleotides which comprise a nucleic acid sequence at least 80% identical to SEQ ID NO: 3487, 1-239, 467-1973, 3481-3486, 3488-3674, 3738 or 3739; isolated polypeptides which comprise an amino acid sequence at least 80% homologous to SEQ ID NO: 246, 240-245, 247-465, 1974-3480, 3675-3736 or 3737, and methods of using same for increasing a yield, biomass, growth rate, vigor, oil content, fiber yield, fiber quality, abiotic stress tolerance, and/or nitrogen use efficiency of a plant.


Provided are method of increasing oil content, growth rate, biomass, yield and/or vigor of a plant. The methods are effected by upregulating in the plant an expression level of a polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence at least 90% homologous to the amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NOs: 199, 166-198, 200-221, 229-307, 311-330, 351-353, 355-361, 363-364, 366-368, 218, 222-228, 308-310, 350, 354, 362, 365, 523-649, 786-920, 1047 and 1048. Also provided are polynucleotides, nucleic acid constructs, polypeptides and transgenic plants expressing same which can be used to increase oil content, growth rate, biomass, yield and/or vigor of a plant and produce oil.


Provided are isolated polynucleotides which comprise a nucleic acid sequence encoding a polypeptide which exhibits at least 94% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 333, and nucleic acid constructs, plants and methods of using same for increasing a yield, biomass, growth rate, vigor, oil content, abiotic stress tolerance, and/or nitrogen use efficiency of a plant.


The present invention relates to a method of increasing nitrogen use efficiency, fertilizer use efficiency, yield, growth rate, vigor, biomass, oil content and/or abiotic stress tolerance of a plant, comprising expressing within the plant an exogenous polynucleotide comprising a nucleic acid sequence encoding a polypeptide at least 80 % identical to SEQ ID NO: 196, 2560, 184, 238, 188, 154-156, 158-161, 163-183, 185-187, 189-197, 200-237, 239-264, 266-269, 1351, 1365-1425, 1429-1457, 1459, 1461-1730, 1735, 1739-2397, 2533-2541, 2544-2556, 2558, 2559, 2561-2562 or 2563, thereby increasing the nitrogen use efficiency, fertilizer use efficiency, yield, growth rate, vigor, biomass, oil content and/or abiotic stress tolerance of the plant.


Provided are methods of increasing tolerance of a plant to abiotic stress, and/or increasing biomass, growth rate, vigor and/or yield of a plant. The methods are effected by expressing within the plant an exogenous polynucleotide encoding a polypeptide comprising an amino acid sequence at least 90% homologous to the amino acid sequence selected from the group consisting of SEQ ID NOs:201, 207, 212, 202-206, 208-211, 213-391, 1655, 961-1529, and 1660-1663. Also provided are polynucleotides, nucleic acid constructs, polypeptides and transgenic plants expressing same which can be used to increase tolerance of a plant to abiotic stress, and/or increase biomass, growth rate, vigor and/or yield of a plant.


Provided are methods of increasing the tolerance of a plant to abiotic stresses and/or increasing the biomass and/or increasing the yield of a plant by expressing within the plant an exogenous polynucleotide encoding a polypeptide homologous to SEQ ID NO:240, such as the polynucleotide set forth by SEQ ID NO:14.


Polynucleotide sequences and methods of utilizing same for increasing the tolerance of a plant to abiotic stresses and/or increasing the biomass, vigor and/or yield of a plant are provided.


Provided are isolated polynucleotides which comprise a nucleic acid sequence at least 80% identical to SEQ ID NO: 321, 1-320, 322-480, 793-2945 or 2946; isolated polypeptides which comprise an amino acid sequence at least 80% homologous to SEQ ID NO: 517, 481-516, 518-792, 2947-4662 or 4663, nucleic acid constructs comprising same, transgenic cells and plants expressing same and methods of using same for increasing yield, biomass, growth rate, vigor, oil content, fiber yield, fiber quality, abiotic stress tolerance, and/or nitrogen use efficiency of a plant.

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