Drought-responsive genes, late embryogenesis abundant group3 (LEA3) and vicinal oxygen chelate, function in lipid accumulation in Brassica napus and Arabidopsis mainly via enhancing photosynthetic efficiency and reducing ROS.
ABSTRACT: Drought is an abiotic stress that affects plant growth, and lipids are the main economic factor in the agricultural production of oil crops. However, the molecular mechanisms of drought response function in lipid metabolism remain little known. In this study, overexpression (OE) of different copies of the drought response genes LEA3 and VOC enhanced both drought tolerance and oil content in Brassica napus and Arabidopsis. Meanwhile, seed size, membrane stability and seed weight were also improved in OE lines. In contrast, oil content and drought tolerance were decreased in the AtLEA3 mutant (atlea3) and AtVOC-RNAi of Arabidopsis and in both BnLEA-RNAi and BnVOC-RNAi B. napus RNAi lines. Hybrids between two lines with increased or reduced expression (LEA3-OE with VOC-OE, atlea3 with AtVOC-RNAi) showed corresponding stronger trends in drought tolerance and lipid metabolism. Comparative transcriptomic analysis revealed the mechanisms of drought response gene function in lipid accumulation and drought tolerance. Gene networks involved in fatty acid (FA) synthesis and FA degradation were up- and down-regulated in OE lines, respectively. Key genes in the photosynthetic system and reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism were up-regulated in OE lines and down-regulated in atlea3 and AtVOC-RNAi lines, including LACS9, LIPASE1, PSAN, LOX2 and SOD1. Further analysis of photosynthetic and ROS enzymatic activities confirmed that the drought response genes LEA3 and VOC altered lipid accumulation mainly via enhancing photosynthetic efficiency and reducing ROS. The present study provides a novel way to improve lipid accumulation in plants, especially in oil production crops.
Project description:Family members of sucrose non-fermenting 1-related kinase 2 (SnRK2), being plant-specific serine/threonine protein kinases, constitute the central core of abscisic acid (ABA)-dependent and ABA-independent signaling pathways, and are key regulators of abiotic stress adaptation in plants. We report here the functional characterization of SAPK9 gene, one of the 10 SnRK2s of rice, through developing gain-of-function and loss-of-function phenotypes by transgenesis.The gene expression profiling revealed that the abundance of single gene-derived SAPK9 transcript was significantly higher in drought-tolerant rice genotypes than the drought-sensitive ones, and its expression was comparatively greater in reproductive stage than the vegetative stage. The highest expression of SAPK9 gene in drought-tolerant Oryza rufipogon prompted us to clone and characterise the CDS of this allele in details. The SAPK9 transcript expression was found to be highest in leaf and upregulated during drought stress and ABA treatment. In silico homology modelling of SAPK9 with Arabidopsis OST1 protein showed the bilobal kinase fold structure of SAPK9, which upon bacterial expression was able to phosphorylate itself, histone III and OsbZIP23 as substrates in vitro. Transgenic overexpression (OE) of SAPK9 CDS from O. rufipogon in a drought-sensitive indica rice genotype exhibited significantly improved drought tolerance in comparison to transgenic silencing (RNAi) lines and non-transgenic (NT) plants. In contrast to RNAi and NT plants, the enhanced drought tolerance of OE lines was concurrently supported by the upgraded physiological indices with respect to water retention capacity, soluble sugar and proline content, stomatal closure, membrane stability, and cellular detoxification. Upregulated transcript expressions of six ABA-dependent stress-responsive genes and increased sensitivity to exogenous ABA of OE lines indicate that the SAPK9 is a positive regulator of ABA-mediated stress signaling pathways in rice. The yield-related traits of OE lines were augmented significantly, which resulted from the highest percentage of fertile pollens in OE lines when compared with RNAi and NT plants.The present study establishes the functional role of SAPK9 as transactivating kinase and potential transcriptional activator in drought stress adaptation of rice plant. The SAPK9 gene has potential usefulness in transgenic breeding for improving drought tolerance and grain yield in crop plants.
Project description:Lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) are a class of cysteine-rich soluble proteins having small molecular weights. LTPs participate in flower and seed development, cuticular wax deposition, also play important roles in pathogen and abiotic stress responses. A non-specific LTP gene (SiLTP) was isolated from a foxtail millet (Setaria italica) suppression subtractive hybridization library enriched for differentially expressed genes after abiotic stress treatments. A semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR analysis showed that SiLTP was expressed in all foxtail millet tissues. Additionally, the SiLTP promoter drove GUS expression in root tips, stems, leaves, flowers, and siliques of transgenic Arabidopsis. Quantitative real-time PCR indicated that the SiLTP expression was induced by NaCl, polyethylene glycol, and abscisic acid (ABA). SiLTP was localized in the cytoplasm of tobacco leaf epidermal cells and maize protoplasts. The ectopic expression of SiLTP in tobacco resulted in higher levels of salt and drought tolerance than in the wild type (WT). To further assess the function of SiLTP, SiLTP overexpression (OE) and RNA interference (RNAi)-based transgenic foxtail millet were obtained. SiLTP-OE lines performed better under salt and drought stresses compared with WT plants. In contrast, the RNAi lines were much more sensitive to salt and drought compared than WT. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and yeast one-hybrids indicated that the transcription factor ABA-responsive DRE-binding protein (SiARDP) could bind to the dehydration-responsive element of SiLTP promoter in vitro and in vivo, respectively. Moreover, the SiLTP expression levels were higher in SiARDP-OE plants compared than the WT. These results confirmed that SiLTP plays important roles in improving salt and drought stress tolerance of foxtail millet, and may partly be upregulated by SiARDP. SiLTP may provide an effective genetic resource for molecular breeding in crops to enhance salt and drought tolerance levels.
Project description:Drought is one of the major limiting factors for productivity of crops including rice (Oryza sativa L.). Understanding the role of allelic variations of key regulatory genes involved in stress-tolerance is essential for developing an effective strategy to combat drought. The bZIP transcription factors play a crucial role in abiotic-stress adaptation in plants via abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathway. The present study aimed to search for allelic polymorphism in the OsbZIP23 gene across selected drought-tolerant and drought-sensitive rice genotypes, and to characterize the new allele through overexpression (OE) and gene-silencing (RNAi). Analyses of the coding DNA sequence (CDS) of the cloned OsbZIP23 gene revealed single nucleotide polymorphism at four places and a 15-nucleotide deletion at one place. The single-copy OsbZIP23 gene is expressed at relatively higher level in leaf tissues of drought-tolerant genotypes, and its abundance is more in reproductive stage. Cloning and sequence analyses of the OsbZIP23-promoter from drought-tolerant O. rufipogon and drought-sensitive IR20 cultivar showed variation in the number of stress-responsive cis-elements and a 35-nucleotide deletion at 5'-UTR in IR20. Analysis of the GFP reporter gene function revealed that the promoter activity of O. rufipogon is comparatively higher than that of IR20. The overexpression of any of the two polymorphic forms (1083 bp and 1068 bp CDS) of OsbZIP23 improved drought tolerance and yield-related traits significantly by retaining higher content of cellular water, soluble sugar and proline; and exhibited decrease in membrane lipid peroxidation in comparison to RNAi lines and non-transgenic plants. The OE lines showed higher expression of target genes-OsRab16B, OsRab21 and OsLEA3-1 and increased ABA sensitivity; indicating that OsbZIP23 is a positive transcriptional-regulator of the ABA-signaling pathway. Taken together, the present study concludes that the enhanced gene expression rather than natural polymorphism in coding sequence of OsbZIP23 is accountable for improved drought tolerance and yield performance in rice genotypes.
Project description:Adverse environmental conditions such as high temperature and drought stress greatly limit the growth and production of crops worldwide. Several NAC (NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC2) proteins have been documented as important regulators in stress responses, but the molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, a stress-responsive NAC gene, SNAC3 (ONAC003, LOC_Os01g09550), conferring drought and heat tolerance in rice is reported. SNAC3 was ubiquitously expressed and its transcript level was induced by drought, high temperature, salinity stress, and abscisic acid (ABA) treatment. Overexpression (OE) of SNAC3 in rice resulted in enhanced tolerance to high temperature, drought, and oxidative stress caused by methyl viologen (MV), whereas suppression of SNAC3 by RNAi resulted in increased sensitivity to these stresses. The SNAC3-OE transgenic plants exhibited significantly lower levels of H2O2, malondiadehyde (MDA), and relative electrolyte leakage than the wild-type control under heat stress conditions, implying that SNAC3 may confer stress tolerance by modulating reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis. Quantitative PCR experiments showed that the expression of a large number of ROS-scavenging genes was dramatically increased in the SNAC3-OE plants, but significantly decreased in the SNAC3-RNAi transgenic plants. Five ROS-associated genes which were up-regulated in SNAC3-OE plants showed co-expression patterns with SNAC3, and three of the co-expressed ROS-associated enzyme genes were verified to be direct target genes of SNAC3. These results suggest that SNAC3 plays important roles in stress responses, and it is likely to be useful for engineering crops with improved tolerance to heat and drought stress.
Project description:Drought is an important environmental factor that severely restricts crop production. The high-affinity nitrate transporter partner protein OsNAR2.1 plays an essential role in nitrate absorption and translocation in rice. Our results suggest that OsNAR2.1 expression is markedly induced by water deficit. After drought stress conditions and irrigation, compared with wild-type (WT), the survival rate was significantly improved in OsNAR2.1 over-expression lines and decreased in OsNAR2.1 RNAi lines. The survival rate of Wuyunjing7 (WYJ), OsNRT2.1 over-expression lines and OsNRT2.3a over-expression lines was not significantly different. Compared with WT, overexpression of OsNAR2.1 could significantly increase nitrogen uptake in rice, and OsNAR2.1 RNAi could significantly reduce nitrogen uptake. Under drought conditions, the expression of OsNAC10, OsSNAC1, OsDREB2a, and OsAP37 was significantly reduced in OsNAR2.1 RNAi lines and increased substantially in OsNAR2.1 over-expression lines. Also, the chlorophyll content, relative water content, photosynthetic rate and water use efficiency were decreased considerably in OsNAR2.1 RNAi lines and increased significantly in OsNAR2.1 over-expression lines under drought conditions. Finally, compared to WT, grain yield increased by about 9.1 and 26.6%, in OsNAR2.1 over-expression lines under full and limited irrigation conditions, respectively. These results indicate that OsNAR2.1 regulates the response to drought stress in rice and increases drought tolerance.
Project description:Recent studies have demonstrated that strigolactones (SLs) also participate in the regulation of stress adaptation; however, the regulatory mechanism remains elusive. In this study, the homolog of More Axillary Branches 2, which encodes a key component in SL signaling, in the perennial oil plant Sapium sebiferum was identified and functionally characterized in Arabidopsis. The results showed that the expression of SsMAX2 in S. sebiferum seedlings was stress-responsive, and SsMAX2 overexpression (OE) in Arabidopsis significantly promoted resistance to drought, osmotic, and salt stresses. Moreover, SsMAX2 OE lines exhibited decreased chlorophyll degradation, increased soluble sugar and proline accumulation, and lower water loss ratio in response to the stresses. Importantly, anthocyanin biosynthesis and the activities of several antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), were enhanced in the SsMAX2 OE lines, which further led to a significant reduction in hydrogen peroxide levels. Additionally, the SsMAX2 OE lines exhibited higher expression level of several abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis genes, suggesting potential interactions between SL and ABA in the regulation of stress adaptation. Overall, we provide physiological and biochemical evidence demonstrating the pivotal role of SsMAX2 in the regulation of osmotic, drought, and salt stress resistance and show that MAX2 can be a genetic target to improve stress tolerance.
Project description:Lipid transfer proteins (LTPs), a class of small, ubiquitous proteins, play critical roles in various environmental stresses. However, their precise biological functions remain unknown. Here we isolated an extracellular matrix-localised LTP, NtLTP4, from Nicotiana tabacum. The overexpression of NtLTP4 in N. tabacum enhanced resistance to salt and drought stresses. Upon exposure to high salinity, NtLTP4-overexpressing lines (OE lines) accumulated low Na+ levels. Salt-responsive genes, including Na+/H+ exchangers (NHX1) and high-affinity K+ transporter1 (HKT1), were dramatically higher in OE lines than in wild-type lines. NtLTP4 might regulate transcription levels of NHX1 and HKT1 to alleviate the toxicity of Na+. Interestingly, OE lines enhanced the tolerance of N. tabacum to drought stress by reducing the transpiration rate. Moreover, NtLTP4 could increase reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging enzyme activity and expression levels to scavenge excess ROS under drought and high salinity conditions. We used a two-hybrid yeast system and screened seven putative proteins that interact with NtLTP4 in tobacco. An MAPK member, wound-induced protein kinase, was confirmed to interact with NtLTP4 via co-immunoprecipitation and a firefly luciferase complementation imaging assay. Taken together, this is the first functional analysis of NtLTP4, and proves that NtLTP4 positively regulates salt and drought stresses in N. tabacum.
Project description:Plants have a series of response mechanisms to adapt when they are subjected to external stress. Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) in plants function against a variety of abiotic stresses. We screened 17 CDPKs from drought- and salt-induced soybean transcriptome sequences. The phylogenetic tree divided CDPKs of rice, Arabidopsis and soybean into five groups (I-V). Cis-acting element analysis showed that the 17 CDPKs contained some elements associated with drought and salt stresses. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis indicated that the 17 CDPKs were responsive after different degrees of induction under drought and salt stresses. GmCDPK3 was selected as a further research target due to its high relative expression. The subcellular localization experiment showed that GmCDPK3 was located on the membrane of Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplasts. Overexpression of GmCDPK3 improved drought and salt resistance in Arabidopsis. In the soybean hairy roots experiment, the leaves of GmCDPK3 hairy roots with RNA interference (GmCDPK3-RNAi) soybean lines were more wilted than those of GmCDPK3 overexpression (GmCDPK3-OE) soybean lines after drought and salt stresses. The trypan blue staining experiment further confirmed that cell membrane damage of GmCDPK3-RNAi soybean leaves was more severe than in GmCDPK3-OE soybean lines. In addition, proline (Pro) and chlorophyll contents were increased and malondialdehyde (MDA) content was decreased in GmCDPK3-OE soybean lines. On the contrary, GmCDPK3-RNAi soybean lines had decreased Pro and chlorophyll content and increased MDA. The results indicate that GmCDPK3 is essential in resisting drought and salt stresses.
Project description:The growth and fruit quality of grapevines are widely affected by abnormal climatic conditions such as water deficits, but many of the precise mechanisms by which grapevines respond to drought stress are still largely unknown. Here, we report that VaNAC26, a member of the NAC transcription factor family, was upregulated dramatically during cold, drought and salinity treatments in Vitis amurensis, a cold and drought-hardy wild Vitis species. Heterologous overexpression of VaNAC26 enhanced drought and salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis. Higher activities of antioxidant enzymes and lower concentrations of H2O2 and O2 (-) were found in VaNAC26-OE lines than in wild type plants under drought stress. These results indicated that scavenging by reactive oxygen species (ROS) was enhanced by VaNAC26 in transgenic lines. Microarray-based transcriptome analysis revealed that genes related to jasmonic acid (JA) synthesis and signaling were upregulated in VaNAC26-OE lines under both normal and drought conditions. VaNAC26 showed a specific binding ability on the NAC recognition sequence (NACRS) motif, which broadly exists in the promoter regions of upregulated genes in transgenic lines. Endogenous JA content significantly increased in the VaNAC26-OE lines 2 and 3. Our data suggest that VaNAC26 responds to abiotic stresses and may enhance drought tolerance by transcriptional regulation of JA synthesis in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Autophagy is a major and conserved pathway for delivering and recycling unwanted proteins or damaged organelles to be degraded in the vacuoles. AuTophaGy-related (ATG) protein 18a has been established as one of the essential components for autophagy occurrence in Arabidopsis thaliana. We previously cloned the ATG18a homolog from Malus domestica (MdATG18a) and monitored its responsiveness to various abiotic stresses at the transcriptional level. However, it is still unclear what its function is under abiotic stress in apple. Here, we found that heterologous expression of MdATG18a in tomato plants markedly enhanced their tolerance to drought. Overexpression (OE) of that gene in apple plants improved their drought tolerance as well. Under drought conditions, the photosynthesis rate and antioxidant capacity were significantly elevated in OE lines when compared with the untransformed wild type (WT). Transcript levels of other important apple ATG genes were more strongly up-regulated in transgenic MdATG18a OE lines than in the WT. The percentage of insoluble protein in proportion to total protein was lower and less oxidized protein accumulated in the OE lines than in the WT under drought stress. This was probably due to more autophagosomes being formed in the former. These results demonstrate that overexpression of MdATG18a in apple plants enhances their tolerance to drought stress, probably because of greater autophagosome production and a higher frequency of autophagy. Those processes help degrade protein aggregation and limit the oxidation damage, thereby suggesting that autophagy plays important roles in the drought response.