The Soybean bZIP Transcription Factor Gene GmbZIP2 Confers Drought and Salt Resistances in Transgenic Plants.
ABSTRACT: Abiotic stresses, such as drought and salt, are major environmental stresses, affecting plant growth and crop productivity. Plant bZIP transcription factors (bZIPs) confer stress resistances in harsh environments and play important roles in each phase of plant growth processes. In this research, 15 soybean bZIP family members were identified from drought-induced de novo transcriptomic sequences of soybean, which were unevenly distributed across 12 soybean chromosomes. Promoter analysis showed that these 15 genes were rich in ABRE, MYB and MYC cis-acting elements which were reported to be involved in abiotic stress responses. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis indicated that 15 GmbZIP genes could be induced by drought and salt stress. GmbZIP2 was significantly upregulated under stress conditions and thus was selected for further study. Subcellular localization analysis revealed that the GmbZIP2 protein was located in the cell nucleus. qRT-PCR results show that GmbZIP2 can be induced by multiple stresses. The overexpression of GmbZIP2 in Arabidopsis and soybean hairy roots could improve plant resistance to drought and salt stresses. The result of differential expression gene analysis shows that the overexpression of GmbZIP2 in soybean hairy roots could enhance the expression of the stress responsive genes GmMYB48, GmWD40, GmDHN15, GmGST1 and GmLEA. These results indicate that soybean bZIPs played pivotal roles in plant resistance to abiotic stresses.
Project description:Vascular plant one-zinc-finger (VOZ) transcription factor, a plant specific one-zinc-finger-type transcriptional activator, is involved in regulating numerous biological processes such as floral induction and development, defense against pathogens, and response to multiple types of abiotic stress. Six VOZ transcription factor-encoding genes (GmVOZs) have been reported to exist in the soybean (Glycine max) genome. In spite of this, little information is currently available regarding GmVOZs. In this study, GmVOZs were cloned and characterized. GmVOZ genes encode proteins possessing transcriptional activation activity in yeast cells. GmVOZ1E, GmVOZ2B, and GmVOZ2D gene products were widely dispersed in the cytosol, while GmVOZ1G was primarily located in the nucleus. GmVOZs displayed a differential expression profile under dehydration, salt, and salicylic acid (SA) stress conditions. Among them, GmVOZ1G showed a significantly induced expression in response to all stress treatments. Overexpression of GmVOZ1G in soybean hairy roots resulted in a greater tolerance to drought and salt stress. In contrast, RNA interference (RNAi) soybean hairy roots suppressing GmVOZ1G were more sensitive to both of these stresses. Under drought treatment, soybean composite plants with an overexpression of hairy roots had higher relative water content (RWC). In response to drought and salt stress, lower malondialdehyde (MDA) accumulation and higher peroxidase (POD) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities were observed in soybean composite seedlings with an overexpression of hairy roots. The opposite results for each physiological parameter were obtained in RNAi lines. In conclusion, GmVOZ1G positively regulates drought and salt stress tolerance in soybean hairy roots. Our results will be valuable for the functional characterization of soybean VOZ transcription factors under abiotic stress.
Project description:The basic leucine zipper (bZIP) family of transcription factors plays an important role in the growth and developmental process as well as responds to various abiotic stresses, such as drought and high salinity. Our previous work identified GmFDL19, a bZIP transcription factor, as a flowering promoter in soybean, and the overexpression of GmFDL19 caused early flowering in transgenic soybean plants. Here, we report that GmFDL19 also enhances tolerance to drought and salt stress in soybean. GmFDL19 was determined to be a group A member, and its transcription expression was highly induced by abscisic acid (ABA), polyethylene glycol (PEG 6000) and high salt stresses. Overexpression of GmFDL19 in soybean enhanced drought and salt tolerance at the seedling stage. The relative plant height (RPH) and relative shoot dry weight (RSDW) of transgenic plants were significantly higher than those of the WT after PEG and salt treatments. In addition, the germination rate and plant height of the transgenic soybean were also significantly higher than that of WT plants after various salt treatments. Furthermore, we also found that GmFDL19 could reduce the accumulation of Na+ ion content and up-regulate the expression of several ABA/stress-responsive genes in transgenic soybean. We also found that GmFDL19 overexpression increased the activities of several antioxidative enzyme and chlorophyll content but reduced malondialdehyde content. These results suggested that GmFDL19 is involved in soybean abiotic stress responses and has potential utilization to improve multiple stress tolerance in transgenic soybean.
Project description:Ankyrin repeat (ANK) proteins are essential in cell growth, development, and response to hormones and environmental stresses. In the present study, 226 ANK genes were identified and classified into nine subfamilies according to conserved domains in the soybean genome (Glycine max L.). Among them, the GmANK114 was highly induced by drought, salt, and abscisic acid. The GmANK114 encodes a protein that belongs to the ANK-RF subfamily containing a RING finger (RF) domain in addition to the ankyrin repeats. Heterologous overexpression of GmANK114 in transgenic Arabidopsis improved the germination rate under drought and salt treatments compared to wild-type. Homologous overexpression of GmANK114 improved the survival rate under drought and salt stresses in transgenic soybean hairy roots. In response to drought or salt stress, GmANK114 overexpression in soybean hairy root showed higher proline and lower malondialdehyde contents, and lower H2O2 and O2- contents compared control plants. Besides, GmANK114 activated transcription of several abiotic stress-related genes, including WRKY13, NAC11, DREB2, MYB84, and bZIP44 under drought and salt stresses in soybean. These results provide new insights for functional analysis of soybean ANK proteins and will be helpful for further understanding how ANK proteins in plants adapt to abiotic stress.
Project description:WRKYs are important regulators in plant development and stress responses. However, knowledge of this superfamily in soybean is limited. In this study, we characterized the drought- and salt-induced gene GmWRKY12 based on RNA-Seq and qRT-PCR. GmWRKY12, which is 714 bp in length, encoded 237 amino acids and grouped into WRKY II. The promoter region of GmWRKY12 included ABER4, MYB, MYC, GT-1, W-box and DPBF cis-elements, which possibly participate in abscisic acid (ABA), drought and salt stress responses. GmWRKY12 was minimally expressed in different tissues under normal conditions but highly expressed under drought and salt treatments. As a nucleus protein, GmWRKY12 was responsive to drought, salt, ABA and salicylic acid (SA) stresses. Using a transgenic hairy root assay, we further characterized the roles of GmWRKY12 in abiotic stress tolerance. Compared with control (Williams 82), overexpression of GmWRKY12 enhanced drought and salt tolerance, increased proline (Pro) content and decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) content under drought and salt treatment in transgenic soybean seedlings. These results may provide a basis to understand the functions of GmWRKY12 in abiotic stress responses in soybean.
Project description:The TGA transcription factors, a subfamily of bZIP group D, play crucial roles in various biological processes, including the regulation of growth and development as well as responses to pathogens and abiotic stress. In this study, 27 TGA genes were identified in the soybean genome. The expression patterns of GmTGA genes showed that several GmTGA genes are differentially expressed under drought and salt stress conditions. Among them, GmTGA17 was strongly induced by both stress, which were verificated by the promoter-GUS fusion assay. GmTGA17 encodes a nuclear-localized protein with transcriptional activation activity. Heterologous and homologous overexpression of GmTGA17 enhanced tolerance to drought and salt stress in both transgeinc Arabidopsis plants and soybean hairy roots. However, RNAi hairy roots silenced for GmTGA17 exhibited an increased sensitivity to drought and salt stress. In response to drought or salt stress, transgenic Arabidopsis plants had an increased chlorophyll and proline contents, a higher ABA content, a decreased MDA content, a reduced water loss rate, and an altered expression of ABA- responsive marker genes compared with WT plants. In addition, transgenic Arabidopsis plants were more sensitive to ABA in stomatal closure. Similarly, measurement of physiological parameters showed an increase in chlorophyll and proline contents, with a decrease in MDA content in soybean seedlings with overexpression hairy roots after drought and salt stress treatments. The opposite results for each measurement were observed in RNAi lines. This study provides new insights for functional analysis of soybean TGA transcription factors in abiotic stress.
Project description:GRAS genes, which form a plant-specific transcription factor family, play an important role in plant growth and development and stress responses. However, the functions of GRAS genes in soybean (Glycine max) remain largely unknown. Here, 117 GRAS genes distributed on 20 chromosomes were identified in the soybean genome and were classified into 11 subfamilies. Of the soybean GRAS genes, 80.34% did not have intron insertions, and 54 pairs of genes accounted for 88.52% of duplication events (61 pairs). RNA-seq analysis demonstrated that most GmGRASs were expressed in 14 different soybean tissues examined and responded to multiple abiotic stresses. Results from quantitative real-time PCR analysis of six selected GmGRASs suggested that GmGRAS37 was significantly upregulated under drought and salt stress conditions and abscisic acid and brassinosteroid treatment; therefore, this gene was selected for further study. Subcellular localization analysis revealed that the GmGRAS37 protein was located in the plasma membrane, nucleus, and cytosol. Soybean hairy roots overexpressing GmGRAS37 had improved resistance to drought and salt stresses. In addition, these roots showed increased transcript levels of several drought? and salt-related genes. The results of this study provide the basis for comprehensive analysis of GRAS genes and insight into the abiotic stress response mechanism in soybean.
Project description:Soybean (Glycine max), as an important oilseed crop, is constantly threatened by abiotic stress, including that caused by salinity and drought. bZIP transcription factors (TFs) are one of the largest TF families and have been shown to be associated with various environmental-stress tolerances among species; however, their function in abiotic-stress response in soybean remains poorly understood. Here, we characterized the roles of soybean transcription factor GmbZIP15 in response to abiotic stresses. The transcript level of GmbZIP15 was suppressed under salt- and drought-stress conditions. Overexpression of GmbZIP15 in soybean resulted in hypersensitivity to abiotic stress compared with wild-type (WT) plants, which was associated with lower transcript levels of stress-responsive genes involved in both abscisic acid (ABA)-dependent and ABA-independent pathways, defective stomatal aperture regulation, and reduced antioxidant enzyme activities. Furthermore, plants expressing a functional repressor form of GmbZIP15 exhibited drought-stress resistance similar to WT. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analyses revealed that GmbZIP15 positively regulates GmSAHH1 expression and negatively regulates GmWRKY12 and GmABF1 expression in response to abiotic stress. Overall, these data indicate that GmbZIP15 functions as a negative regulator in response to salt and drought stresses.
Project description:Plant C2 domain proteins play essential biological functions in numerous plants. In this study, 180 soybean C2 domain genes were identified by screening. Phylogenetic relationship analysis revealed that C2 domain genes fell into three distinct groups with diverged gene structure and conserved functional domain. Chromosomal location analysis indicated that C2 domain genes mapped to 20 chromosomes. The transcript profiles based on RNA-seq data showed that <i>GmC2-58</i>, <i>GmC2-88</i>, and <i>GmC2-148</i> had higher levels of expression under salt, drought, and abscisic acid (ABA) treatments. <i>GmC2-148</i>, encoding a cell membrane-localized protein, had the highest level of response to various treatments according to real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analysis. Under salt and drought stresses, the soybean plants with <i>GmC2-148</i> transgenic hairy roots showed delayed leaf rolling, a higher content of proline (Pro), and lower contents of H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>, O<sup>2-</sup> and malondialdehyde (MDA) compared to those of the empty vector (EV) plants. The results of transgenic <i>Arabidopsis</i> in salt and drought treatments were consistent with those in soybean treatments. In addition, the soybean plants with <i>GmC2-148</i> transgenic hairy roots increased transcript levels of several abiotic stress-related marker genes, including <i>COR47</i>, <i>NCDE3</i>, <i>NAC11</i>, <i>WRKY13, DREB2A</i>, <i>MYB84</i>, <i>bZIP44</i>, and <i>KIN1</i> which resulted in enhanced abiotic stress tolerance in soybean. These results indicate that C2 domain genes are involved in response to salt and drought stresses, and this study provides a genome-wide analysis of the C2 domain family in soybean.
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:Stress associated proteins (SAPs) containing A20/AN1 zinc finger domains have emerged as novel regulators of stress responses. In this study, 27 SAP genes were identified in soybean. The phylogenetic relationships, exon-intron structure, domain structure, chromosomal localization, putative cis-acting elements, and expression patterns of SAPs in various tissues under abiotic stresses were analyzed. Among the soybean SAP genes, GmSAP16 was significantly induced by water deficit stress, salt, and abscisic acid (ABA) and selected for further analysis. GmSAP16 was located in the nucleus and cytoplasm. The overexpression of GmSAP16 in Arabidopsis improved drought and salt tolerance at different developmental stages and increased ABA sensitivity, as indicated by delayed seed germination and stomatal closure. The GmSAP16 transgenic Arabidopsis plants had a higher proline content and a lower water loss rate and malondialdehyde (MDA) content than wild type (WT) plants in response to stresses. The overexpression of GmSAP16 in soybean hairy roots enhanced drought and salt tolerance of soybean seedlings, with higher proline and chlorophyll contents and a lower MDA content than WT. RNA inference (RNAi) of GmSAP16 increased stress sensitivity. Stress-related genes, including GmDREB1B;1, GmNCED3, GmRD22, GmDREB2, GmNHX1, and GmSOS1, showed significant expression alterations in GmSAP16-overexpressing and RNAi plants under stress treatments. These results indicate that soybean SAP genes play important roles in abiotic stress responses.