Cytokinins are involved in the regulation of many plant growth and development processes, and function in response to abiotic stress. Cytokinin signaling is similar to the prokaryotic two-component signaling systems and includes the transcriptional upregulation of type-A response regulators (RRs), which in turn act to inhibit cytokinin signal response via negative feedback. Cytokinin signaling consists of several gene families and only a handful full of genes is studied. In this study, we demonstrated the function of two highly identical type-A RR genes from rice, OsRR9 and OsRR10, which are induced by cytokinin and only OsRR10 repressed by salinity stress in rice. Loss-of-function mutations give rise to mutant genes, osrr9/osrr10, which have higher salinity tolerance than wild type rice seedlings. The transcriptomic analysis uncovered several ion transporter genes, which were upregulated in response to salt stress in the osrr9/osrr10 mutants relative to the wild type seedlings. These include high-affinity potassium transporters, such as OsHKT1;1, OsHKT1;3 and OsHKT2;1, which play an important role in sodium and potassium homeostasis. In addition, disruption of the genes OsRR9 and OsRR10 also affects the expression of multiple genes related to photosynthesis, transcription and phytohormone signaling. Taken together, these results suggest that the genes OsRR9 andmore »
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