A Potential Role of Flag Leaf Potassium in Conferring Tolerance to Drought-Induced Leaf Senescence in Barley.
ABSTRACT: Terminal drought stress decreases crop yields by inducing abscisic acid (ABA) and premature leaf senescence. As potassium (K) is known to interfere with ABA homeostasis we addressed the question whether there is genetic variability regarding the role of K nutrition in ABA homeostasis and drought tolerance. To compare their response to drought stress, two barley lines contrasting in drought-induced leaf senescence were grown in a pot experiment under high and low K supply for the analysis of flag leaves from the same developmental stage. Relative to the drought-sensitive line LPR, the line HPR retained more K in its flag leaves under low K supply and showed delayed flag leaf senescence under terminal drought stress. High K retention was further associated with a higher leaf water status, a higher concentration of starch and other primary carbon metabolites. With regard to ABA homeostasis, HPR accumulated less ABA but higher levels of the ABA degradation products phaseic acid (PA) and dehydro-PA. Under K deficiency this went along with higher transcript levels of ABA8'-HYDROXYLASE, encoding a key enzyme in ABA degradation. The present study provides evidence for a positive impact of the K nutritional status on ABA homeostasis and carbohydrate metabolism under drought stress. We conclude that genotypes with a high K nutritional status in the flag leaf show superior drought tolerance by promoting ABA degradation but attenuating starch degradation which delays flag leaf senescence. Flag leaf K levels may thus represent a useful trait for the selection of drought-tolerant barley cultivars.
Project description:In order to clarify the transcriptional regulatory network and physiological mechanisms governing leaf senescence response to drought stress in wheat, experiments were performed using two wheat varieties with contrasting drought tolerance: Fu287 (F287, a drought-sensitive genotype) and Shannong20 (SN20, a drought-resistant genotype). The latter has higher SPAD values, salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), zeatin (Z), zeatin riboside (ZR), and gibberellin (GA 3) content as well as higher expression levels of Cu/Zn-SOD, Mn-SOD, Fe-SOD,POD,CAT, and APX under various water deficit conditions. Conjoint analysis of physiological and biochemical indicators and transcriptome data by weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) in the present study provides a useful genomic and molecular resource for studying drought adaptation in wheat. The flag leaf senescence process was changed by altering the concentration of phytohormones. SA, JA, abscisic acid (ABA), Z, ZR, and GA 3 coordinate with each other to control leaf senescence and plant adaptation under drought stress. Further, the leaf senescence process was divided into two phases: the persistence phase and the rapid loss phase. Shorter Chltotal (duration of the flag leaf being photosynthetically active), shorter Chlper (persistence phase), reduced M (inflection point cumulative temperature when senescence rate is the maximum), decreased r max (the maximum senescence rate), larger r 0 (the initial senescence rate), and increased r aver (the average senescence rate) were slightly associated with low grain mass. We speculated that extending the period of the persistence phase by cultivation or chemical control measures could further increase the drought survivability and productivity of wheat.
Project description:Drought stress is an important environmental factor limiting plant productivity. In this study, we screened drought-resistant transgenic plants from 65 promoter-pyrabactin resistance 1-like (PYL) abscisic acid (ABA) receptor gene combinations and discovered that pRD29A::PYL9 transgenic lines showed dramatically increased drought resistance and drought-induced leaf senescence in both Arabidopsis and rice. Previous studies suggested that ABA promotes senescence by causing ethylene production. However, we found that ABA promotes leaf senescence in an ethylene-independent manner by activating sucrose nonfermenting 1-related protein kinase 2s (SnRK2s), which subsequently phosphorylate ABA-responsive element-binding factors (ABFs) and Related to ABA-Insensitive 3/VP1 (RAV1) transcription factors. The phosphorylated ABFs and RAV1 up-regulate the expression of senescence-associated genes, partly by up-regulating the expression of Oresara 1. The pyl9 and ABA-insensitive 1-1 single mutants, pyl8-1pyl9 double mutant, and snrk2.2/3/6 triple mutant showed reduced ABA-induced leaf senescence relative to the WT, whereas pRD29A::PYL9 transgenic plants showed enhanced ABA-induced leaf senescence. We found that leaf senescence may benefit drought resistance by helping to generate an osmotic potential gradient, which is increased in pRD29A::PYL9 transgenic plants and causes water to preferentially flow to developing tissues. Our results uncover the molecular mechanism of ABA-induced leaf senescence and suggest an important role of PYL9 and leaf senescence in promoting resistance to extreme drought stress.
Project description:Plants have evolved multiple strategies to survive and adapt when confronting the changing climate, including elevated CO2 concentration (e[CO2]) and intensified drought stress. To explore the role of abscisic acid (ABA) in modulating the response of plant water relation characteristics to progressive drought under ambient (a[CO2], 400 ppm) and e[CO2] (800 ppm) growth environments, two tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) genotypes, Ailsa Craig (AC) and its ABA-deficient mutant (flacca), were grown in pots, treated with or without exogenous ABA, and exposed to progressive soil drying until all plant available water in the pot was depleted. The results showed that exogenous ABA application improved leaf water potential, osmotic potential, and leaf turgor and increased leaf ABA concentrations ([ABA]leaf) in AC and flacca. In both genotypes, exogenous ABA application decreased stomatal pore aperture and stomatal conductance (g s), though these effects were less pronounced in e[CO2]-grown AC and g s of ABA-treated flacca was gradually increased until a soil water threshold after which g s started to decline. In addition, ABA-treated flacca showed a partly restored stomatal drought response even when the accumulation of [ABA]leaf was vanished, implying [ABA]leaf might be not directly responsible for the decreased g s. During soil drying, [ABA]leaf remained higher in e[CO2]-grown plants compared with those under a[CO2], and a high xylem sap ABA concentration was also noticed in the ABA-treated flacca especially under e[CO2], suggesting that e[CO2] might exert an effect on ABA degradation and/or redistribution. Collectively, a fine-tune ABA homeostasis under combined e[CO2] and drought stress allowed plants to optimize leaf gas exchange and plant water relations, yet more detailed research regarding ABA metabolism is still needed to fully explore the role of ABA in mediating plant physiological response to future drier and CO2-enriched climate.
Project description:Reproductive sinks regulate monocarpic senescence in wheat as desinking delayed flag leaf senescence under irrigated condition. In this study, wheat cv. HW 2041 and its isonuclear male sterile line (CMS) were subjected to post-anthesis water deficit stress to understand the association between sink strength, senescence and drought response in relation to oxidative stress and antioxidant defense at cellular and sub-cellular level. CMS plants maintained better water relations and exhibited delayed onset and progression of flag leaf senescence in terms of green leaf area, chlorophyll and protein content than fertile plants under water deficit stress (WDS). Delayed senescence in CMS plants under water deficit stress was associated with less reactive oxygen species generation, lower damage to membranes and better antioxidant defense both in terms of antioxidant enzyme activities and metabolite content compared to fertile plants. Expression of some senescence associated genes (SAGs) such as WRKY transcription factor (<i>WRKY53</i>), glutamine synthetase1 (<i>GS1</i>), wheat cysteine protease (<i>WCP2</i>) and wheat serine protease (<i>WSP</i>) was lower while catalse 2 (<i>CAT2</i>) transcript levels were higher in the CMS plants compared to HW2041 during senescence under water deficit stress. Antioxidant defense in chloroplasts was better in CMS line under water deficit stress compared to HW2041. This is the first report showing that reproductive sink enhanced drought induced senescence in flag leaf of wheat fertile line is associated with higher oxidative stress and damage and loss of antioxidant competence compared to its sterile line under water deficit stress. Higher expression of some SAGs and decline in superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase activity in the chloroplasts also contributed to the accelerated senescence in fertile line compared to its CMS line under WDS.
Project description:WRKY transcription factors (TFs) play essential roles in the plant response to leaf senescence and abiotic stress. However, the WRKY TFs involved in leaf senescence and stress tolerance in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) are still largely unknown. In this study, a WRKY gene, GhWRKY91, was isolated and thoroughly characterized. Transcriptional activity assays showed that GhWRKY91 could activate transcription in yeast. The expression pattern of GhWRKY91 during leaf senescence, and in response to abscisic acid (ABA) and drought stress was evaluated. ?-Glucuronidase (GUS) activity driven by the GhWRKY91 promoter in transgenic Arabidopsis was reduced upon exposure to ABA and drought treatments. Constitutive expression of GhWRKY91 in Arabidopsis delayed natural leaf senescence. GhWRKY91 transgenic plants exhibited increased drought tolerance and presented delayed drought-induced leaf senescence, as accompanied by reinforced expression of stress-related genes and attenuated expression of senescence-associated genes (SAGs). Yeast one-hybrid (Y1H) assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) revealed that GhWRKY91 directly targets GhWRKY17, a gene associated with ABA signals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. A transient dual-luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that GhWRKY91 activated the expression of GhWRKY17. Our results suggest that GhWRKY91 might negatively regulate natural and stress-induced leaf senescence and provide a foundation for further functional studies on leaf senescence and the stress response in cotton.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Auxin may have a positive effect on plants under drought stress. White clover is widely cultivated and often prone to water shortages. In the present study, we investigated the effects of exogenous indole -?3-acetic acid (IAA) on growth and physiological changes of white clover under drought stress condition. The contents of endogenous IAA and other hormones including ABA, CTK, JA, GA, IAA, and SA were assayed. Moreover, expressions of auxin-responsive genes, drought-responsive genes and leaf senescence-associated genes were detected in response to exogenous IAA. RESULTS:Compared to control, drought stress alone significantly diminished stem dry weigh, relative water content (RWC) and total chlorophyll content (Chl). Exogenous IAA treatment significantly increased RWC and Chl, whereas L-AOPP treatment drastically decreased stem dry weight, RWC and Chl under drought stress condition. Additionally, exogenous IAA treatment significantly increased ABA content and JA content, up-regulated expression of auxin responsive genes (GH3.1, GH3.9, IAA8), drought stress responsive genes (bZIP11, DREB2, MYB14, MYB48, WRKY2, WRKY56, WRKY108715 and RD22), and down-regulated expressions of auxin-responding genes (GH3.3, GH3.6, IAA27) and leaf senescence genes (SAG101 and SAG102) in the presence of PEG. Contrarily, L-AOPP treatment significantly reduced contents of ABA, GA3 and JA, down-regulated expressions of GH3.1, GH3.9, IAA8, bZIP11, DREB2, MYB14, MYB48, WRKY2, WRKY56, WRKY108715, ERD and RD22, and up-regulated SAG101 and SAG102. CONCLUSIONS:Exogenous IAA improved drought tolerance of white clover possibly due to endogenous plant hormone concentration changes and modulation of genes involving in drought stress response and leaf senescence. These results provided useful information to understand mechanisms of IAA improved drought tolerance in white clover.
Project description:Leaf senescence is a programmed developmental process regulated by various endogenous and exogenous factors. Here we report the characterization of the senescence-regulating role of DEAR4 (AT4G36900) from the DREB1/CBF (dehydration-responsive element binding protein 1/C-repeat binding factor) family in Arabidopsis. The expression of DEAR4 is associated with leaf senescence and can be induced by ABA, JA, darkness, drought and salt stress. Transgenic plants over-expressing DEAR4 showed a dramatically enhanced leaf senescence phenotype under normal and dark conditions while the dear4 knock-down mutant displayed delayed senescence. DEAR4 over-expressing plants showed decreased seed germination rate under ABA and salt stress conditions as well as decreased drought tolerance, indicating that DEAR4 was involved in both senescence and stress response processes. Furthermore, we found that DEAR4 protein displayed transcriptional repressor activities in yeast cells. DEAR4 could directly repress the expression of a subset of COLD-REGULATED (COR) and RESPONSIVE TO DEHYDRATION (RD) genes which have been shown to be involved in leaf longevity and stress response. Also we found that DERA4 could induce the production of Reactive oxygen species (ROS), the common signal of senescence and stress responses, which gives us the clue that DEAR4 may play an integrative role in senescence and stress response via regulating ROS production.
Project description:BiP overexpression improves leaf water relations during droughts and delays drought-induced leaf senescence. However, whether BiP controls cellular homeostasis under drought conditions or simply delays dehydration-induced leaf senescence as the primary cause for water stress tolerance remains to be determined. To address this issue, we examined the drought-induced transcriptomes of BiP-overexpressing lines and wild-type (WT) lines under similar leaf water potential (?w) values. In the WT leaves, a ?w reduction of -1.0 resulted in 1339 up-regulated and 2710 down-regulated genes; in the BiP-overexpressing line 35S::BiP-4, only 334 and 420 genes were induced and repressed, respectively, at a similar leaf ?w?=?-1.0 MPa. This level of leaf dehydration was low enough to induce a repertory of typical drought-responsive genes in WT leaves but not in 35S::BiP-4 dehydrated leaves. The responders included hormone-related genes, functional and regulatory genes involved in drought protection and senescence-associated genes. The number of differentially expressed genes in the 35S::BiP-4 line approached the wild type number at a leaf ?w?=?-1.6 MPa. However, N-rich protein (NRP)- mediated cell death signaling genes and unfolded protein response (UPR) genes were induced to a much lower extent in the 35S::BiP-4 line than in the WT even at ?w?=?-1.6 MPa. The heatmaps for UPR, ERAD (ER-associated degradation protein system), drought-responsive and cell death-associated genes revealed that the leaf transcriptome of 35S::BiP-4 at ?w?=?-1.0 MPa clustered together with the transcriptome of well-watered leaves and they diverged considerably from the drought-induced transcriptome of the WT (?w?=?-1.0, -1.7 and -2.0 MPa) and 35S::BiP-4 leaves at ?w?=?-1.6 MPa. Taken together, our data revealed that BiP-overexpressing lines requires a much higher level of stress (?w?=?-1.6 MPa) to respond to drought than that of WT (?w?=?-1.0). Therefore, BiP overexpression maintains cellular homeostasis under water stress conditions and thus ameliorates endogenous osmotic stress.
Project description:Wheat leaf non-sequential senescence at the late grain-filling stage involves the early senescence of younger flag leaves compared to that observed in older second leaves. On the other hand, sequential senescence involves leaf senescence that follows an age-related pattern, in which flag leaves are the latest to undergo senescence. The characteristics of sugar metabolism in two sequential senescence cultivars and two non-sequential senescence cultivars under both natural and drought conditions were studied to elucidate the underlying mechanism of drought tolerance in two different senescence modes. The results showed that compared to sequential senescence wheat cultivars, under natural and drought conditions, non-sequential senescence wheat cultivars showed a higher leaf net photosynthetic rate, higher soluble sugar levels in leaves, leaf sheaths, and internodes, higher leaf sucrose synthase (SS) and sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) activity, and higher grain SS activity, thereby suggesting that non-sequential senescence wheat cultivars had stronger source activity. Spike weight, grain weight per spike, and 100-grain weight of non-sequential senescence cultivars at maturity were significantly higher than those of sequential senescence cultivars under both natural and drought conditions. These findings indicate that the higher rate of accumulation and the higher mobilization of soluble sugar in the leaves, leaf sheaths and internodes of non-sequential senescence cultivars improve grain weight and drought tolerance. At the late grain-filling stage, drought conditions adversely affected leaf chlorophyll content, net photosynthetic rate, soluble sugar and sucrose content, SS and SPS activity, gain SS activity, and weight. This study showed that higher rates of soluble sugar accumulation in the source was one of the reasons of triggering leaf non-sequential senescence, and higher rates of soluble sugar mobilization during leaf non-sequential senescence promoted high and stable wheat yield and drought tolerance.
Project description:D1 protein in the PSII reaction center is the major target of photodamage, and it exhibits the highest turnover rate among all the thylakoid proteins. In this paper, rice psf (premature senescence of flag leaves) mutant and its wild type were used to investigate the genotype-dependent alteration in PSII photo-damage and D1 protein turnover during leaf senescence and its relation to ABA accumulation in senescent leaves. The symptom and extent of leaf senescence of the psf mutant appeared to be sunlight-dependent under natural field condition. The psf also displayed significantly higher levels of ABA accumulation in senescent leaves than the wild type. However, the premature senescence lesion of psf leaves could be alleviated by shaded treatment, concomitantly with the strikingly suppressed ABA level in the shaded areas of flag leaves. The change in ABA concentration contributed to the regulation of shade-delayed leaf senescence. The participation of ABA in the timing of senescence initiation and in the subsequent rate of leaf senescence was closely associated with PSII photodamage and D1 protein turnover during leaf senescence, in which the transcriptional expression of several key genes (psbA, psbB, psbC and OsFtsH2) involved in D1 protein biosynthesis and PSII repair cycle was seriously suppressed by the significantly increased ABA level. This response resulted in the low rate of D1 protein synthesis and impaired repair recovery in the presence of ABA. The psf showed evidently decreased D1 protein amount in the senescent leaves. Both the inhibition of de novo synthesized D1 protein and the slow rate of proteolytic removal for the photodamaged D1 protein was among the most crucial steps for the linkage between light-dependent leaf senescence and the varying ABA concentration in psf mutant leaves. OsFtsH2 transcriptional expression possibly played an important role in the regulation of D1 protein turnover and PSII repair cycle in relation to ABA mediated leaf senescence.