Enhancing Heat Tolerance of the Little Dogwood Cornus canadensis L. f. with Introduction of a Superoxide Reductase Gene from the Hyperthermophilic Archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus.
ABSTRACT: Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) can be accelerated under various biotic and abiotic stresses causing lipid peroxidation, protein degradation, enzyme inactivation, and DNA damage. Superoxide reductase (SOR) is a novel antioxidant enzyme from Pyrococcus furiosus and is employed by this anaerobic hyperthermophilic archaeon for efficient detoxification of ROS. In this study, SOR was introduced into a flowering plant Cornus canadensis to enhance its heat tolerance and reduce heat induced damage. A fusion construct of the SOR gene and Green Fluorescent Protein gene (GFP) was introduced into C. canadensis using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Heat tolerance of the GFP-SOR expressing transgenic plants was investigated by observing morphological symptoms of heat injury and by examining changes in photosynthesis, malondialdehyde (MDA), and proline levels in the plants. Our results indicate that the expression of the P. furiosus SOR gene in the transgenic plants alleviated lipid peroxidation of cell membranes and photoinhibition of PS II, and decreased the accumulation of proline at 40°C. After a series of exposures to increasing temperatures, the SOR transgenic plants remained healthy and green whereas most of the non-transgenic plants dried up and were unable to recover. While it had previously been reported that expression of SOR in Arabidopsis enhanced heat tolerance, this is the first report of the successful demonstration of improved heat tolerance in a non-model plant resulting from the introduction of P. furiosus SOR. The study demonstrates the potential of SOR for crop improvement and that inherent limitations of plant heat tolerance can be ameliorated with P. furiosus SOR.
Project description:Nitric oxide (NO) has been shown to play an important role in the plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses in Arabidopsis mutants with lower or higher levels of endogenous NO. The exogenous application of NO donors or scavengers has also suggested an important role for NO in plant defense against environmental stress. In this study, rice plants under drought and high salinity conditions showed increased nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity and NO levels. Overexpression of rat neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) in rice increased both NOS activity and NO accumulation, resulting in improved tolerance of the transgenic plants to both drought and salt stresses. nNOS-overexpressing plants exhibited stronger water-holding capability, higher proline accumulation, less lipid peroxidation and reduced electrolyte leakage under drought and salt conditions than wild rice. Moreover, nNOS-overexpressing plants accumulated less H2O2, due to the observed up-regulation of OsCATA, OsCATB and OsPOX1. In agreement, the activities of CAT and POX were higher in transgenic rice than wild type. Additionally, the expression of six tested stress-responsive genes including OsDREB2A, OsDREB2B, OsSNAC1, OsSNAC2, OsLEA3 and OsRD29A, in nNOS-overexpressing plants was higher than that in the wild type under drought and high salinity conditions. Taken together, our results suggest that nNOS overexpression suppresses the stress-enhanced electrolyte leakage, lipid peroxidation and H2O2 accumulation, and promotes proline accumulation and the expression of stress-responsive genes under stress conditions, thereby promoting increased tolerance to drought and salt stresses.
Project description:Desiccation tolerance is a complex phenomenon that depends on the regulated expression of numerous genes during dehydration and subsequent rehydration. Our previous study identified a chloroplast drought-induced stress protein (MaCDSP32) in mulberry, a thioredoxin (Trx) that is upregulated under drought conditions and is likely to confer drought tolerance to transgenic plants. Mulberry (Morus spp.) is an ecologically and economically important perennial woody plant that is widely used in forest management to combat desertification. However, its stress tolerance physiology is not well understood. In this study, the functions of MaCDSP32 gene were investigated. The expression of MaCDSP32 exhibited a circadian rhythm and was induced by mild and severe water deficits. Under abiotic stress, MaCDSP32-overexpressing plants exhibited increased stress sensitivity with lower water retention capacity and more severe lipid peroxidation than the wild-type (WT) plants. Furthermore, the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), the contents of proline and soluble sugars and the expression of stress-related transcription factors were lower in the MaCDSP32-overexpressing plants than in the WT plants. However, the MaCDSP32-overexpressing lines exhibited stronger recovery capability after rewatering post-drought. Moreover, the SOD enzyme activity, proline content, and soluble sugar content were higher in the transgenic plants after rewatering than in the WT plants. The production of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) H2O2 and O2 - was significantly lower in the transgenic plants than in the WT plants. In addition, under abiotic stress, the MaCDSP32-overexpressing lines exhibited improved seed germination and seedling growth, these effects were regulated by a positive redox reaction involving MaCDSP32 and one of its targets. In summary, this study indicated that MaCDSP32 from mulberry regulates plant drought tolerance and ROS homeostasis mainly by controlling SOD enzyme activity and proline and soluble sugar concentrations and that this control might trigger the stress response during seed germination and plant growth. Overall, MaCDSP32 exerts pleiotropic effects on the stress response and stress recovery in plants.
Project description:Thermal stress induces a wide array of morphological and physiological changes in potato affecting its development and economic yield. Response to thermal stress in plants is mostly regulated by heat shock factors (hsfs). The current study aimed at improving heat tolerance by transforming potato plant with heat shock factor, HsfA1d, using Agrobacterium. Gateway cloning strategy was adopted for isolation of HsfA1d from Arabidopsis thaliana and cloning into plant expression vector. The target gene was introduced into potato by infecting internodal explants with Agrobacterium strain GV3101 carrying pGWB402?-HsfA1d construct. Upon exposure to heat stress, the wild-type plants turned yellowish, whereas no phenotypic effect on transgenic plants was observed. Expression of HsfA1d in transgenic plants was increased by 5.8-fold under thermal stress compared to room temperature. Transgenic plants exhibited 6-fold increase in the expression of downstream HSP70 under thermal stress compared to wild-type plants. Both chlorophyll a and b were significantly decreased in wild-type plants while no such decrease was recorded in transgenic plants under thermal stress. Heat stress was found to have no significant effect on carotenoid pigments of both wild-type and transgenic plants. Significantly lower electrolyte leakage from transgenic plants was witnessed compared to wild type upon exposure to thermal stress. Transgenic plants accumulated significantly higher proline content compared to wild-type plants under heat stress. It is concluded that HsfA1d plays a vital role in plant thermotolerance and hence can be effectively used to enhance the resistance of crop plants against heat stress.
Project description:Heat stress is a detrimental abiotic stress limiting the growth of many plant species and is associated with various cellular and physiological damages. Expansins are a family of proteins which are known to play roles in regulating cell wall elongation and expansion, as well as other growth and developmental processes. The in vitro roles of expansins regulating plant heat tolerance are not well understood. The objectives of this study were to isolate and clone an expansin gene in a perennial grass species (Poa pratensis) and to determine whether over-expression of expansin may improve plant heat tolerance. Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) was used as the model plant for gene transformation and an expansin gene PpEXP1 from Poa pratensis was cloned. Sequence analysis showed PpEXP1 belonged to ?-expansins and was closely related to two expansin genes in other perennial grass species (Festuca pratensis and Agrostis stolonifera) as well as Triticum aestivum, Oryza sativa, and Brachypodium distachyon. Transgenic tobacco plants over-expressing PpEXP1 were generated through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Under heat stress (42°C) in growth chambers, transgenic tobacco plants over-expressing the PpEXP1 gene exhibited a less structural damage to cells, lower electrolyte leakage, lower levels of membrane lipid peroxidation, and lower content of hydrogen peroxide, as well as higher chlorophyll content, net photosynthetic rate, relative water content, activity of antioxidant enzyme, and seed germination rates, compared to the wild-type plants. These results demonstrated the positive roles of PpEXP1 in enhancing plant tolerance to heat stress and the possibility of using expansins for genetic modification of cool-season perennial grasses in the development of heat-tolerant germplasm and cultivars.
Project description:Drought and heat stresses are two major environmental stress factors that severely threaten crop growth and productivity. Plant delay of germination 1-like (DOG1L) family genes play important roles in various developmental processes and stress responses. In our previous study, a tobacco DOG1L gene (NtDOG1L-T) was found to regulate seedling growth and drought response. Unfortunately, the role of DOG1L genes in heat stress response is yet to be studied. Here, we present data supporting the role of DOG1L genes in heat stress and possible underlying molecular mechanisms. Transcript levels of NtDOG1L-T were rapidly induced by heat or abscisic acid (ABA) treatment. Furthermore, NtDOG1L-T promoter activity was markedly activated by ABA or heat stress, as revealed by histochemical staining in transgenic tobacco seedlings. Overexpression of NtDOG1L-T in transgenic lines improved heat stress tolerance. The NtDOG1L-T-transgenic plants exhibited lower levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation but higher antioxidant enzyme activities in response to heat stress. Furthermore, transcript abundance of some defense-, heat-, and ABA-responsive marker genes was significantly upregulated, as shown by reverse transcription quantitative PCR (qPCR) in these transgenic plants. In conclusion, NtDOG1L-T positively regulates heat stress tolerance possibly by modulation of antioxidant capability and defense-, heat-, and ABA-related gene expression in tobacco. This study may provide valuable resource for the potential exploitation of DOG1Ls in genetic improvement of heat stress tolerance in crops.
Project description:Drought and high salinity are two major abiotic stresses that significantly affect agricultural crop productivity worldwide. Annexins are a multigene family that plays an essential role in plant stress responses and various cellular processes. Here, the AnnSp2 gene was cloned from drought-resistant wild tomato (Solanum pennellii) and functionally characterized in cultivated tomato. AnnSp2 protein was localized in the nucleus and had higher expression in leave, flower and fruit. It was induced by several phytohormones and some abiotic stresses. Tomato plants overexpressing AnnSp2 had increased tolerance to drought and salt stress, as determined by analysis of various physiological parameters. AnnSp2-transgenic plants were less sensitive to ABA during the seed germination and seedling stages. However, under drought stress, the ABA content significantly increased in the AnnSp2-overexpressing plants, inducing stomatal closure and reducing water loss, which underlay the plants' enhanced stress tolerance. Furthermore, scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS), higher total chlorophyll content, lower lipid peroxidation levels, increased peroxidase activities (including APX, CAT and SOD) and higher levels of proline were observed in AnnSp2-overexpressing plants. These results indicate that overexpression of AnnSp2 in transgenic tomato improves salt and drought tolerance through ABA synthesis and the elimination of ROS.
Project description:Reactive oxygen species (ROS) arise in the plant system due to inevitable influence of various environmental stimuli. Glutathione peroxidases are one of the important ROS scavengers inside the cell. A glutathione peroxidase (PgGPx) gene was previously found from Pennisetum glauccum abiotic stressed cDNA library. Enzyme kinetics data revealed that PgGPx possessed preference towards thioredoxin rather than glutathione as electron donor and thus belongs to the functional peroxiredoxin group. Moreover, its activity was found to be dependent on divalent cations, especially Cd2+ and homology model showed the presence of Cd2+ binding site in the protein. Site directed mutagenesis study of PgGPx protein revealed the vital role of two conserved Cysteine residues for its enzymatic activity and structural folding. Expression analysis suggested that PgGPx transcript is highly up-regulated in response to salinity and drought stresses. When expressed ectopically, PgGPx showed enhanced tolerance against multiple abiotic stresses in prokaryotic E. coli and model plant, rice. Transgenic rice plants showed lesser accumulation of MDA and H2O2; and higher accumulation of proline as compared to wild type (WT) plants in response to both salinity and drought stresses that clearly indicates suppression of lipid peroxidation and ROS generation in transgenic lines. Moreover, transgenic plants maintained better photosynthesis efficiency and higher level of antioxidant enzyme activity as compared to WT plants under stress conditions. These results clearly indicate the imperative role of PgGPx in cellular redox homeostasis under stress conditions, leading to the maintenance of membrane integrity and increased tolerance towards oxidative stress.
Project description:Although HsfA3 (heat-stress transcription factor A3) is well characterized in heat stress, its roles in other abiotic stresses are less clear. In this study, we isolated two homologous HsfA3 genes, LlHsfA3A and LlHsfA3B, from lily (Lilium longiflorum). Both genes were induced by heat stress, but not by salt stress. Overexpressing LlHsfA3A in Arabidopsis enhanced its basal and acquired thermotolerance, while overexpressing LlHsfA3B just enhanced its acquired thermotolerance. In both cases, overexpressing plants showed hypersensitivity to salt stress, and a lack of sucrose exacerbated this salt sensitivity. Using a transient assay, the opposite effects were observed in lily. Further analysis revealed that either LlHsfA3A or LlHsfA3B overexpression altered normal proline accumulation. During heat treatments, proline increased in wild-type Arabidopsis plants, but no such increase was detected in transgenic plants that showed better basal or acquired thermotolerance. Under salt stress, proline accumulation was decreased in Arabidopsis and lily with the overexpression of LlHsfA3A or LlHsfA3B. Proline catabolism was activated by overexpression, and both LlHsfA3A and LlHsfA3B affected proline oxidation via regulation of AtbZIP11, AtbZIP44, and AtbZIP53 to activate AtproDH1 and AtproDH2 in transgenic Arabidopsis. Taken together, our results suggested that overexpression of LlHsfA3A or LlHsfA3B caused opposite effects on heat and salt tolerance, which may implicate proline catabolism.
Project description:In this study, we report the overexpression of Cajanus cajan hybrid-proline-rich protein encoding gene (CcHyPRP) in rice which resulted in increased tolerance to both abiotic and biotic stresses. Compared to the control plants, the transgenic rice lines, expressing CcHyPRP, exhibited high-level tolerance against major abiotic stresses, viz., drought, salinity, and heat, as evidenced by increased biomass, chlorophyll content, survival rate, root, and shoot growth. Further, transgenic rice lines showed increased panicle size and grain number compared to the control plants under different stress conditions. The CcHyPRP transgenics, as compared to the control, revealed enhanced activities of catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes and reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. Expression pattern of CcHyPRP::GFP fusion-protein confirmed its predominant localization in cell walls. Moreover, the CcHyPRP transgenics, as compared to the control, exhibited increased resistance to the fungal pathogen Magnaporthe grisea which causes blast disease in rice. Higher levels of bZIP and endochitinase transcripts as well as endochitinase activity were observed in transgenic rice compared to the control plants. The overall results demonstrate the intrinsic role of CcHyPRP in conferring multiple stress tolerance at the whole-plant level. The multipotent CcHyPRP seems promising as a prime candidate gene to fortify crop plants for enhanced tolerance/resistance to different stress factors.
Project description:The universal stress protein (USP) is a ubiquitous protein and plays an indispensable role in plant abiotic stress tolerance. The genome of Salicornia brachiata contains two homologs of intron less SbUSP gene which encodes for salt and osmotic responsive USP. In vivo localization reveals that SbUSP is a membrane bound cytosolic protein. The role of the gene was functionally validated by developing transgenic tobacco and compared with control [wild-type (WT) and vector control (VC)] plants under different abiotic stress condition. Transgenic lines (T1) exhibited higher chlorophyll, relative water, proline, total sugar, reducing sugar, free amino acids, polyphenol contents, osmotic potential, membrane stability, and lower electrolyte leakage and lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde content) under stress treatments than control (WT and VC) plants. Lower accumulation of H2O2 and [Formula: see text] radicals was also detected in transgenic lines compared to control plants under stress conditions. Present study confers that overexpression of the SbUSP gene enhances plant growth, alleviates ROS buildup, maintains ion homeostasis and improves the physiological status of the plant under salt and osmotic stresses. Principal component analysis exhibited a statistical distinction of plant response to salinity stress, and a significant response was observed for transgenic lines under stress, which provides stress endurance to the plant. A possible signaling role is proposed that some downstream genes may get activated by abiotic stress responsive cytosolic SbUSP, which leads to the protection of cell from oxidative damages. The study unveils that ectopic expression of the gene mitigates salt or osmotic stress by scavenging ROS and modulating the physiological process of the plant.