Rice full-length cDNA over-expressed Arabidopsis mutant database
Research Contents
The Objective of our research

In the post-sequencing era, identification of gene function is one of the new goals for functional genomics. Identification of the function of each gene is important not only for basic research, but also for applied science, especially in crops.

Full-length cDNAs contain almost all the information necessary for producing functional proteins and, as such, are recognized as genes per se. NIAS has collected more than 28 000 independent rice full-length cDNAs. Of them around 13 000 cDNAs have been integrated into Arabidopsis. One or two rice cDNAs are ectopically overexpressed in each transgenic line. This gain-of-function approach is used in plant science to identify gene functions that are masked in the conventional knockout approach by gene redundancy.

These rice full-length cDNA overexpressed Arabidopsis lines (rice FOX Arabidopsis lines) have been screened against various criteria, including morphology, photosynthetic capacity, disease resistance, abiotic stress, and plant hormone composition. This screening strategy, which we have named "FOX hunting", relies on the high transformation efficiency and short generation time of Arabidopsis. Identified gene candidates are introduced into rice and tomatoes to confirm their function in those crops. Our research results are summarized in this database.

The Rice FOX Project is a collaboration of the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences at Tsukuba (NIAS), the Research Institute of Biological Sciences at Okayama (RIBS), and the RIKEN Plant Science Center (PSC). It is supported by MEXT's (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan) Special Coordination Fund for Promoting Science and Technology for the purpose of enhancing Japanese science.

This is the first project to identify agronomically important traits of rice against various criteria through the use of full-length cDNA resources.


  • Sakurai et al. (2011) RiceFOX: A database of Arabidopsis mutant lines overexpressing rice full-length cDNA that contains a wide range of trait information to facilitate analysis of gene function. Plant Cell Physiol. 52, 265-273. [PubMed]
  • Kondou et al. (2009) Systematic approaches to using the FOX hunting system to identify useful rice genes. Plant J. 57, 883-894. [PubMed]

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