Overexpression of salt-induced protein (salT) delays leaf senescence in rice

Abstract Senescence, a highly programmed process, largely determines yield and quality of crops. However, knowledge about the onset and progression of leaf senescence in crop plants is still limited. Here, we report that salt-induced protein (salT), a new gene, may be involved in leaf senescence. Overexpressing salT could prolong the duration of leaves with higher concentrations of chlorophyll compared with the wild type. Moreover, overexpression of salT could delay the senescence of rice leaves though the inhibition of senescence associated genes (SAGs). Overall, the characterization of salT suggested that it is a new gene affecting the leaf senescence induced by natural and dark conditions.