A study was published in The Crop Journal, in which scientists determined whether the gene OsABA8ox2 was vital for root development and drought response in rice.
A CRISPR knockout of the OsABA8ox2 gene in rice seedlings resulted in the build-up of indole-3-acetic acid and ABA in the roots, abscisic acid (ABA) is a plant hormone involved in the plant response to environmental stressors. Furthermore, the CRISPR knockout had roots of a more favourable shape and structure for drought conditions.
Whereas, it was found that the overexpression of OsABA8ox2 in rice seedlings, increased water transpiration, inhibited root elongation, and contributed to drought sensitivity via ABA catabolism.
In conclusion, the OsABA8ox2 knockout was significantly more tolerant of drought, thus suggesting this gene could be targeted to increase drought resistance in rice.